British Museum

“Fear not!” speaks the Buddha’s gesture (or mudra, one of several hand positions Gandharan artists used to convey Buddhist teachings) on the ruby-studded, gold reliquary (shown here, compare with photo of gray schist carving) from the town of Bimaran. The first-century C.E. vessel is only 3 inches high; it was probably stored in a stupa, a burial tumulus symbolizing the Buddha’s death.