Choeung Ek archaeological sites in danger of being lost forever

Excavation at the Choeung Ek kiln site. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20150214

Visitors to Phnom Penh may already have gone to see the Killing Fields at Choeung Ek, but the site also holds significant archaeological value: the remains of kilns have been found there, but the quick development in the area means that much of this archaeology is being lost.

Excavation at the Choeung Ek kiln site. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20150214
Excavation at the Choeung Ek kiln site. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20150214

Ancient kiln site poised to ‘disappear forever’
Phnom Penh Post, 14 February 2015

Archaeological site at the Choeung Ek killing fields under threat as fast-paced urbanisation takes its toll on the area

Buried in the dirt at the Choeung Ek killing fields, among the skeletal remains of Pol Pot’s victims, are far more ancient relics: black, red and brown ceramic shards that have added a crucial page to Phnom Penh’s early history.

The discovery of 69 pottery kilns in the early 2000s by archaeologist Phon Kaseka indicated that an industrious community established itself in the fifth century, about a thousand years before Phnom Penh became the capital.

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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