With the recent discovery of the spectacular over life-size sculpture of King Jayavarma (dated 184 CE) and the existing stone sculptures of Mother Goddesses from the 2nd-3rd centuries, we can presume that the Kathmandu Valley was a thriving artistic center during the pre-Licchavi period. Certainly, by the Licchavi period (ca. 4th-9th centuries), Nepali craftsmen had developed distinctive stylistic and aesthetics conventions in both metal and stone sculptures, rivaling their Indian counterparts of the Gupta period. These masters—the Newar artists of the Kathmandu Valley—quickly achieved international repute throughout Asia, and were acclaimed as world-class painters and sculptors with unparalleled skill and iconographic expertise. The Transitional (ca. 9th-13th centuries) and Malla (1200–1768) periods were the most prolific and inspired eras of artistic production, with extensive cultural exchanges with the neighboring countries.