Is this the world's oldest Buddha statue excavated in Pakistan?

The statue, which dates back to the third century, was unearthed during an excavation near the Bhamala Stupa in Haripur district. 

Is this the world's oldest Buddha statue excavated in Pakistan?
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NEW DELHI: Archaeologists have excavated a 48-feet long 'sleeping' Buddha sculpture in Pakistan in what is being dubbed as world's oldest such statue.

The statue, which dates back to the third century, was unearthed during an excavation near the Bhamala Stupa in Haripur district, the Dawn reported.

Researchers at the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Directorate of Archaeology And Museums have claimed that it is the world's oldest 'sleeping Buddha' statue.

Museum director Dr. Abdul Samad said, 'The 48-feet long statue dates back to the third century, which makes it the world's oldest 'sleeping Buddha' statue.'

The statue was found with its head intact during an excavation, he said.

'We have discovered more than 500 Buddha-related objects during excavations, in addition to the 48-feet long sleeping Buddha,' he added.

The latest discovery is expected to throw new light into the history of the ancient Taxila Valley Civilisation.

'This is one of the few sites in the world to have the cruciform Stupa, which was reserved for Buddha himself,' the report quoted Samad as saying.

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