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This is the earliest evidence of a Buddhist shrine anywhere in the world."It sheds light on a very long debate, which has led to differences in teachings and traditions of Buddhism."The narrative of Lumbini's establishment as a pilgrimage site under Ashokan patronage must be modified since it is clear that the site had already undergone embellishment for centuries."The dig also detected signs of ancient tree roots in the wooden building's central void - suggesting it was a tree shrine.Tradition records that Queen Maya Devi gave birth to the Buddha while grasping the branch of a tree within the Lumbini Garden.The discovery could aid conservation efforts at the holy site - which has been neglected despite its Unesco World Heritage status."These discoveries are very important to better understand the birthplace of the Buddha," said Ram Kumar Shrestha, Nepal's minister of culture, tourism and civil aviation.