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A Sri Lanka Temple Moonstone (Sandakada pahana) Sri Lanka, Late Anuradhapura Period, 10th / early 11th Century

Description and Image from Bonhams:  “Sandakada pahana, also known as Moonstone, is a feature unique to the Sinhalese architecture of ancient Sri Lanka and according to historians, symbolises the cycle of Samsara in Buddhism. It is an elaborately carved semi-circular stone slab, usually placed at the bottom of staircases and entrances and is first known in the latter part of the Anuradhapura period. The sandakada pahana evolved through the Polonnaruwa, Gampola and Kandy periods with varied decorative repertoires.

During the late Andurhadpura period, carving on every sandakada pahana of this period is uniform. A half lotus is carved in the centre, which is enclosed by several concentric bands. The first band from the half lotus is decorated with a procession of swans, followed by a band with an intricate foliage design known as liyavel. The third band contains carvings of four animals; elephants, lions, horses, and bulls which follow each other in a procession. The fourth and outermost band contains a band of flames (W.I. Siriweera, History of Sri Lanka, Dayawansa Jayakodi & Company, 2004, p. 288).”    Bonhams

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