Depending on your philosophy towards religion, you may or may not believe that your deity or spiritual figure of choice has left a physical trace on upon this blue-green globe. There have been numerous efforts to find literal proof of such physical traces—such as the “real” Noah’s Ark, the birthplace of Christ, and verifying the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin.
And now we have this recent archeological discovery in China, in which cremated human remains within a ceramic box are speculated to be that of the Buddha.
The inscription on the box, which was found in Jingchuan County, indicates that the remains were buried June 22, 1013, and belong to the Buddha:
The monks Yunjiang and Zhiming of the Lotus School, who belonged to the Mañjuśrī Temple of the Longxing Monastery in Jingzhou Prefecture, gathered more than 2,000 pieces of śarīra (cremated Buddha remains), as well as the Buddha’s teeth and bones, and buried them in the Mañjuśrī Hall of this temple” on June 22, 1013.
To reach this goal, both of them practiced the instruction of Buddhism during every moment of their lives for more than 20 years. Sometimes they received the śarīra from others’ donations; sometimes they found them by chance; sometimes they bought them from other places; and sometimes others gave them the śarīra to demonstrate their wholeheartedness.
The historical Gautama Buddha is said to have lived from 563 B.C. to 483 B.C.. Previous archeological discoveries in China have found other remains purporting to be that of the great spiritual figure, including a skull bone found in a gold chest.