Hints of a pre-Angkorian Cambodia outside of Phnom Penh

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Crucibles from Preah Neak pagoda. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20160405

Numerous finds from a hill in Kandal province hint at a rich archaeological potential spanning to possibly the pre-Angkorian period, but there are insufficient funds to look deeper.

Crucibles from Preah Neak pagoda. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20160405

Crucibles from Preah Neak pagoda. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20160405

Pre-Angkorian trove of artefacts found in Kandal
Phnom Penh Post, 05 April 2016

The discovery of hundreds of ancient artefacts – most likely spanning several eras – at a pagoda outside of Phnom Penh this month could shed new light on the poorly understood pre-Angkorian period, a Royal Academy of Cambodia archaeologist said yesterday.

“These finds are the historical evidence for our Khmer-ness,” said Thuy Chanthuon, deputy director of the academy’s Institute of Culture and Fine Arts, who is analysing the findings from the Preah Neak pagoda, located on a hill about 30 kilometres from Phnom Penh in Kandal province’s Ang Snuol district.

The artefacts, which included a copper seal buried with a sword, dozens of apparently pre-Angkorian stone tools and coins from the early 1900s, were found just 2 metres or less below the surface.

“The best item is the seal,” said Chanthuon. “It is from the Oudong era, between 300 and 400 years old. The seal and metal sword were likely buried with a man who must have had a high position in the society, [like] an oknha or provincial governor.”

Full story here.

Prehistoric Phnom Penh

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Neolithic stone tool found in Kandal province. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20151230

Archaeologists are investigating the chance finds of prehistoric material in Cambodia’s Kandal province, near Phnom Penh.

Neolithic stone tool found in Kandal province. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20151230

Neolithic stone tool found in Kandal province. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20151230

Phnom Penh’s roots discovered
Phnom Penh Post, 30 December 2015

Two newly discovered archaeological sites suggest people were living close to what is now Phnom Penh thousands of years before the capital was founded.

Villagers living along the Mekong, and a monk at a pagoda, both in Kandal province, have discovered artefacts including Neolithic axes and human bone, which indicate human settlement in the area as long as 3,000 years ago, according to a report obtained yesterday.

“The use of polished stone dates back to about 1000 to 1500 BC,” said Dutch archaeologist and professor Hans Boch, one of a team of experts called to the bank of the Mekong after the find in Muk Kampoul district’s Chas village.

“The evidence shows people living there thousands of years ago,” he added.

“We found polished stone, a crafted metal bracelet, limb bones, teeth, a skull and pottery,” said Thuy Chanthourn, deputy chief of the Institute of Culture and Fine Arts at the Royal Academy of Cambodia.

Full story here.