Banteay Chmar is restored, piece by piece

A boy at Banteay Chmar, Wisconsin State Journal 20120226

Another feature on the ongoing restoration of Banteay Chmar.

A boy at Banteay Chmar, Wisconsin State Journal 20120226
A boy at Banteay Chmar, Wisconsin State Journal 20120226

Buddhist temple tells tale of ancient empire
AP, via Wisconsin State Journal, 26 February 2012

It’s still entwined in mystery and jungle vines, but one of Cambodia’s grandest monuments is slowly awakening after eight centuries of isolated slumber, having attracted a crack archaeological team and a trickle of tourists.

“It takes awhile to unfold this temple — and everywhere there are enticements,” says John Sanday, the team leader, as he navigates through tangled undergrowth, past dramatic towers and bas-reliefs and into dark chambers of the haunting monastic complex of Banteay Chhmar.

What drove Jayavarman VII, regarded as the greatest king of the Angkorian Empire, to erect this vast Buddhist temple about 105 miles from his capital in Angkor and in one of the most desolate and driest places in Cambodia remains one of its many unsolved riddles.

Full story here.

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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.

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