The statues, which were likely stolen in 2001, were intercepted while being smuggled into the United Kingdom in 2002.
Bagan, in Maynmar, is one of 29 sites added to UNESCO’s list this year.
The monk gave the fossil to a lama at a nearby Buddhist monastery, who passed it on to university researchers.
The project was inspired by the destruction of the monumental Bamiyan Buddha statues by the Taliban in 2001.
Officials hope the discovery will encourage tourism and religious harmony.
Italian archaeologists have restored one of the most important pieces of Buddhist art in South Asia, nine years after it was bombed by the Taliban.
Last month, Sweden Post released a stamp that depicts the Buddha sitting in a lotus as part of a series commemorating the Era of Vikings.
Treasure Caretaker Training is working to preserve and protect sacred Buddhist art by training “treasure caretakers” such as monks and nuns.
Fourteen years after the massive statues were destroyed by the Taliban, artists have animated the Buddhas with 3D light projection technology.
Professor and filmmaker Brent Huffman has been awarded a $100,000 grant to complete his documentary, Saving Mes Aynak.