Ancient Buddhist Image Found on Rock in Gyeongju

Digital Chosunilbo, Feb 16, 2005

Gyeongju, South Korea -- Gyeong-ju is often referred to as "the museum without walls" because of its well -preserved and abundant shrines, statues, temples, and other relics that date to as early as the 7th century.

A local resident added to the city's renown on Monday after discovering near the crest of a mountain what is believed to be the oldest Buddhist carving.

Though it has been faded with time and is difficult to make out, the rock carving, approximately 230 centimeters tall and 60 centimeters wide, shows Buddha wearing a sacred robe customarily worn in the Three Kingdoms era of Goguryeo, Shilla and Baekje.

Researchers say the latest finding, carved with the oldest-known technique, not only has historical value, but will also help academic researchers make comparative studies of other Buddhist statues and relics.