When reading the marks I always imagine they probably described an Alien Reptilian. I cannot find a picture/presentation where all 32 marks are properly display according to the text. Has there been such an effort yet?
1. Level feet 2. Thousand-spoked wheel sign on feet 3. Long, slender fingers 4. Pliant hands and feet 5. Toes and fingers finely webbed 6. Full-sized heels 7. Arched insteps 8. Thighs like a royal stag 9. Hands reaching below the knees 10. Well-retracted male organ 11. Height and stretch of arms equal 12. Every hair-root dark colored 13. Body hair graceful and curly 14. Golden-hued body 15. Ten-foot aura around him 16. Soft, smooth skin 17. Soles, palms, shoulders, and crown of head well-rounded 18. Area below armpits well-filled 19. Lion-shaped body 20. Body erect and upright 21. Full, round shoulders 22. Forty teeth 23. Teeth white, even, and close 24. Four canine teeth pure white 25. Jaw like a lion 26. Saliva that improves the taste of all food 27. Tongue long and broad 28. Voice deep and resonant 29. Eyes deep blue 30. Eyelashes like a royal bull 31. White ūrṇā curl that emits light between eyebrows 32. Fleshy protuberance on the crown of the head
In exobiology there is Silurian Hypothesis, the chance of modern science’s ability to detect evidence of a prior advanced civilizations here on earth, perhaps several million years or even billion years ago, is next to impossible.
Yeah, but it’s a different story when one person possesses all 32 marks, if you imagine it enough I believe you would come quite close to my conclusion - that Reptilian picture. Hence, no one ever depicted the Buddha with all 32 marks on a statue or picture.
I haven’t paid the issue much attention for the last couple of decades, but the last time I did so the aniconism theory was actually a subject of hot debate, following the 1990 publication of Susan Huntington’s critique of it.
However, in 1990, the notion of aniconism in Buddhism was challenged by Susan Huntington, initiating a vigorous debate among specialists that still continues to occur. She sees many early scenes claimed to be aniconic as in fact not depicting scenes from the life of the Buddha, but worship of cetiya (relics) or re-enactments by devotees at the places where these scenes occurred. Thus the image of the empty throne shows an actual relic-throne at Bodh Gaya or elsewhere. She points out that there is only one indirect reference for a specific aniconic doctrine in Buddhism to be found, and that pertaining to only one sect.
As for the archeological evidence, it shows that some anthropomorphic sculptures of the Buddha actually existed during the supposedly aniconistic period, which ended during the 1st century CE. Huntington also rejects the association of “aniconistic” and “iconic” art with the division that emerged between Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism. Huntington’s views have been challenged by Vidya Dehejia and others.
Knowing almost nothing about the archaeology of India, I’m afraid I can’t say what has or hasn’t been found.
Your question, however, seems to be sidestepping Huntington’s central contention, which is that what scholars had previously taken to be aniconic depictions of the Buddha are not in fact depictions of the Buddha at all. The cogency of this contention would not be affected by whether pre-CE images of the Buddha’s person are found or not found.