The Piprahwa Deceptions : Set-ups and Showdown




‘The careful excavation of Mr Peppe makes it certain that this stupa had never been opened until he opened it…the hypothesis of forgery is in this case simply unthinkable. And we are fairly entitled to ask : “If this stupa and these remains are not what they purport to be, then what are they?” Though the sceptics – only sceptics, no doubt, because they think it is too good to be true …’

(T. W. Rhys Davids, ‘Asoka and the Buddha Relics’, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (UK) 1901)




1. Introduction

2. Dr Fuhrer’s letters to U Ma

3. The Empire Strikes Back

4. The bone relics of 1898

5. The Peppe caskets and inscription


6. The Sagarwa jewellery

7. The legality of the Peppe collection

8. Later finds at Piprahwa

9. Latest Developments

10. References


11. Illustrations