via Phnom Penh Post, 10 Jan 2019: Villagers in Banteay Meanchey protecting a sacred hill believed to contain the remains of two ancient temples.
Beneath the surface of a remote hill in Tuol Pongro commune, in Banteay Meanchey’s Malai district, lie two “mysterious” ancient temples that survived the Khmer Rouge years, waiting to be discovered.
The local community and authorities are playing their roles in preserving the “treasures”.
Prasat Knong and Prasat Krao temples are buried under Prey Praseth hill. Commune chief Sim Morn said the two are believed to have been excavated during the war.
Evidence of the digging can apparently be seen on the ground. He estimated that the former’s structure has been most damaged, while the latter is still in good shape.
“It is not clear when the temples had been excavated. The hill used to be a battleground. After the war ended, people came to live around this area and found proof of excavation,” he said.
Source: Ancient Khmer Rouge surviving temples to be protected by locals, National, Phnom Penh Post
A Cambodian official was caught smuggling three statues out of the country when he was checked by the customs officials at the Thai border.
Statues confiscated at the Thai-Cambodian border. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20150427
Statues seized at border
Phnom Penh Post, 27 April 2015
Army Officer Smuggling Statues Into Thailand Caught at Border
Cambodia Daily, 27 April 2015
A military official was arrested in Thailand on Saturday after smuggling three statues across the border from Banteay Meanchey province in his car, officials said Sunday.
Prak Sa, chief of the Boeung Trakuon border checkpoint in Banteay Meanchey’s O’Chrou district, said that Soeun Oeun, 49—an intelligence officer from the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces’ Region 5 in Battambang province—was arrested at about 5 p.m., just after passing through screening on the Cambodian side of the checkpoint.
“We were careless with checking his car, in which he had hidden three ancient statues, but he was arrested by Thai border police,” Mr. Sa said. He said Mr. Oeun regularly went through the checkpoint in O’Beichoan commune to purchase food or gasoline in Thailand.
“The suspect goes back and forth every day,” he said, adding that Cambodian border police had never had reason to suspect nefarious activity.
Full story here.
My friend and colleague Dr. Alison Carter blogs about some exciting research in Cambodia, on the Kok Treas site which was excavated by the Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts earlier this year.
Kok Treas burial. From Alison in Cambodia.
Read her post here.
Another feature on the ongoing restoration of Banteay Chmar.
A boy at Banteay Chmar, Wisconsin State Journal 20120226
Buddhist temple tells tale of ancient empire
AP, via Wisconsin State Journal, 26 February 2012
Another article about the restoration of Banteay Chhmar. The restorers are attempting to take 3D scans of all the blocks and piece them back together like a jigsaw puzzle.
Banteay Chmar, Wikimedia Commons
Cambodia’s lost temple, reclaimed from the jungle after 800 years
The Independent, 08 January 2012
A feature on the massive temple of Banteay Chmar in Banteay Meanchay province, not far from the Thai-Cambodian border. The site is starting to see visitors again, but it’s sculptures have been looted – including a pair that’s said to be in the garden of a Thai politician!
Another Great Cambodian Temple Stirs To Life
AP, via the Huffington Post, 03 Jan 2012
A Japanese archaeologist is in talks with the Cambodian government to set up a museum for the display of the artefacts unearthed at the pre-Angkoran site of Phum Snay. The excavation has already uncovered over 47 burials so far including the famous so-called “warrior women“.
Museum planned for ancient artefacts stored in Siem Reap
Phnom Penh Post, 07 May 2009
A Japanese team has concluded the excavation of a burial site is the village Snay at the Banteay Meanchay province – I think it’s possibly related to the ‘warrior women‘ find of last year. Besides brick tombs, there’s an interesting reference to ‘corpse preservation’ although it’s unsure if this is some sort of mummification ritual or something else.
A 2,500 year old ancient tomb found in Cambodia
Koh Santepheap Daily, 25 February 2009 (in Khmer)
English translation from Khmerization
This week’s rojak is focused mainly in Cambodia, with a couple of other links to archaeology in general, including the famed archaeologist, Dogbert!
photo credit: yeowatzup
You gotta hand it to the Japanese – after they found the so-called ‘warrior women’ burials last year, they seem to have made another spectacular discovery: man-made water channels dating to the first century, reminiscent of the sophisticated water management system used in Angkor 600 years later.
Archaeological find dates back Khmer civilization by six to eight centuries [Link no longer active]
ANI by way of The Japan News Net, 22 January 2008