Archaeological site destroyed in Cambodia

Kent Davis posts some distressing news of a prehistoric circular earthwork site in Memot District, Kampong Cham Province in Cambodia that was levelled last week – without permission – to make way for temporary housing and development. Cambodian prehistory is not well studied, and the loss of a prehistoric site such as this represents a great and permanent gap in our knowledge of Cambodia’s prehistoric past. Alison has a great post about circular earthwork sites in Cambodia that you can read here.

Bulldozers Destroy Priceless Archaeological Site in Cambodia, 05 September 2010

The rural Memot area in southeastern Cambodia has proven itself as one of the richest sources of information about the country’s pre-historic development. Ancestors of the primitive people who once lived there later became part of the Khmer Empire. The Khmer, one of the world’s most advanced artistic civilizations, grew to rule most of Southeast Asia only 1500 years after the Memot villages formed.

On Tuesday, September 2, a colleague in the Memot area placed an urgent call to archaeologist Heng Sophady to report the destruction of an ancient village site. Mr Heng rushed to the site, located in Samrong Village and called the Samrong Circular Earthwork.

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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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