Peter Skilling, Śrāvakas, Buddhas, and the Buddha's Father: Inscribed Artefacts in the U Thong National Museum

The article presents a group of moulded clay tablets that depict disciples of the Buddha and are inscribed with their names in the Pali language. They were recovered during the excavation of Stupa no. 11 at U Thong in Central Thailand in 1963. It also presents a small clay figurine depicting Sakyamuni Buddha's father, King Śuddhodana, that is inscribed with his name in Sanskrit. Both the inscribed tablets and the king, kneeling as if in homage, seem to be unique in Buddhist art.

U Thong was one of the centres of the culture that we conventionally call "Dvaravati." The artefacts date from the 6th to the 8th century. They add to the corpus of early Pali inscriptions and terracotta moulded art of Thailand.