Angkoran ironworks site hailed as a major find

What appears to be an ironworks site has been found in the village of Khav in Siem Reap, the first of its kind found in Cambodia by the Apsara Authority. The site seems to date between the 11th and 13th centuries.

Cambodia finds its 1st ancient ironworks site in history
Xinhua, 05 September 2009

Ironworks site a ‘goldmine’
Phnom Penh Post, 07 September 2009

The Apsara Authority of Cambodia has found and excavated for the first time in its history the ancient ironworks site at Khav village, Khav commune, Chi-kreng district of Siem Reap province where is the home of Angkor Wat temple, the local media reported on Saturday.

“We have excavated four sites and each site has size of five meters in length and two meters in width, and we also found iron mines, some potteries, pieces of cook, some bamboos, other ancient materials, and a tube for blowing the air into the ancient cook to melt the iron stone,” the khmer language newspaper Rasmei Kampuchea quoted Ea Darith, deputy director of temple conservation for external affairs of Angkor wat park as saying, who is also expert for leading the excavation group.

“Those sites were used for melting iron mines and it was belonged to aborigine “Kouy” and their relatives still exist in living in Cambodia now,” he said. “They melted those iron mines to produce as guns, swords, javelins, and other daily households including axes, knifes, and chisels for the king at that time,” he added.


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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

3 thoughts on “Angkoran ironworks site hailed as a major find”

  1. Ahem…. It should be noted in point of fact that while this may well be the first find of an iron working site in the relatively brief history *of the Apsara Authority*, it is by no means “the first of its kind found in Cambodia”. There’s an entire chapter in Claude Jacques’ 2007 “The Khmer Empire”, for instance, giving a round-up of decades of scholarship on the issue.

  2. It’s the title of the news article in Xinhua that’s actually misleading, I really don’t know where they got that from!

    For those interested in iron working in medieval Cambodia, a major project new project led by Mitch Hendrickson at the University of Sydney is also investigating the famous iron working site of Preah Khan of Kompong Svay:

    http://acl.arts.usyd.edu.au/indap

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