The pagoda found in Nanjing is crafted from wood, gilded with silver and inlaid with gold, coloured glass and amber. It matches a description of another of Ashoka’s pagodas which used to be housed underneath the Changgan Buddhist temple in Nanjing.
A description of the contents of the pagoda was also found: a gold coffin bearing part of Buddha’s skull inside a silver box. Although scans have confirmed that there are two small metal boxes inside the pagoda, experts have not yet peered inside. The pagoda is currently on display in the museum.
Qi Haining, the head of archaeology at Nanjing Museum, told state media: “This pagoda may be unique, the only one known to contain parts of Buddha’s skull”.
Apparently, one other was found with an iron box supposedly containing a lock of the Buddha’s hair, but it wasn’t opened. Probably a good idea since exposure to air would probably turn it to dust within seconds. Better to wait for some kind of imaging to see inside.