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Talo Taly joins throng of temples

Talo Taly is the newest temple discovered by the Ministry of Culture's archeological

conservation team in Siem Reap province. It was found on September 3 about 20 kilometers

north of Angkor Wat. Its location disappeared from official records about 30 years

ago.

Oun Vorn, director of the Ministry's Heritage Department, said the team has discovered

or relocated more than 100 temples since 1979. As many as 30 percent of the temples

were not previously known to exist.

The Talo Taly temple was registered in 1945 on the French administration's heritage

list. The colonial administration recorded 1,080 temples up to 1954. However, the

Ministry said it continues to discover more each year.

"There are still many more temples than the French discovered," said Vorn.

He said the Talo Taly temple site served as a Khmer Rouge fort after 1979. He believed

that was why the site had remained so remote.

Archeologists estimate the temple was built in the 9th century in the pre-Angkorian

Preah Ko style. The temple is 15 meters high and covers 40 square meters. It is covered

with plants and surrounded by thick forest.

Nin Son, the administrative deputy chief of the Angkor Conservation Department, said

that Talo Taly, which means grandfather Lo and grandfather Ly in Khmer, is not its

real name. He said it is called that by local villagers who know the site well.

Since the temple remains deep in the forest, Son said the Department would ask the

Cambodian Mine Action Center to de-mine the site before visitors could arrive.

Son would like to develop the temple complex as a historical resort. Tourists would

be able to visit the temples and experience the daily life of villagers.

Vorn added that the Department hoped to build a road leading to the temple, but would

rely on the Apsara Authority, the government body charged with protecting Angkor

Wat, to preserve the site.

Bon Narit, an official with the Apsara Authority, said he had not heard of Talo Taly.

But he said the organization would consider the site once it received a report on

the temple.

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