Burmese Pyu Buddha Statues

Burmese Pyu Buddha Statues of any size are extremely rare. The Pyu were a civilized and highly cultured Tibeto-Burmese tribe, they established the small city states of Beikthano, Sri-Ksetra and Mongamo and a few others in the Irrawaddy Valley during the first century AD. Sri Ksetra in lower Burma is considered to be the main Pyu site and is the richest site archaeologically, although there is still a lot of areas that haven’t been excavated.

Due to internal upheavals in the past 100 years, Burma was closed to the outside world for many years, although a  handful of Western Archeologist have had the privilege of assisting local archeologists on ancient sites.

The Pyu were weakened by Chinese invaders in 832 A.D., whereupon some 3,000 Pyu were taken back to China, some remaining Pyu people survived into the 11th Century, after which they integrated with the Burman and eventually died out.

It is thought that the Andhra region of southern India was the source from which the sculptural style of the Pyu art emerged, this view is strengthened by recent interpretations of the epigraphic and textual evidence of the Khin Ba inscriptions which stemmed from southern India in the second half of the fifth century.

The Pyu offered an alternative trading route between China and India from the Northern part of Myanmar, crossing the Chindwin Valley down the Irrawaddy to their capital city Sri Ksetra , thus taking advantage of the northern edge of the Delta’s access to the various maritime routes to India and Southeast Asia.