Gandhara Schist Sculpture of the Seated Buddha, Afghanistan, c. 200-500 AD. Gandhara throve in NE Afghanistan and NW Pakistan. At a confluence of trading paths along the Silk Route, the area had cultural influences from Greece to China. Gandhara flourished under the Kushan Dynasty and their king, Kanishka, who is given credit for spreading the philosophies of Buddhism throughout central Asia and into China. This period is regarded as the most important era in the history of Buddhism.
A Gray Schist Figure of Buddha; Gandhara, circa 4th Century; Seated in dhyanasana with his arms crossed before his chest in the gesture of teaching, dharma-chakra mudra, wearing long flowing robes draped across his left shoulder, his face with a meditative expression and wavy hair rising to a domed top-knot and backed by a nimbus.