In a significant move for the Kingdom’s heritage, pertinent authorities under the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts have identified and demarcated 55 archaeological sites in Kampong Cham province.

From August 14 to 26, officials from the Department of Archaeology and Prehistory under the ministry’s General Department of Heritage joined hands with the provincial culture department, local authorities and community members to verify and designate these ancient sites in Srei Santhor district’s Baray commune.

Following their efforts, the ministry released a statement on August 26 expressing the gratitude and joy of the Baray commune inhabitants for this monumental task.

“This demarcation helps those involved understand the location of all sites better, making the sites simpler to manage, patrol, and especially register systematically,” it said.

Local officials have committed to ensuring the protection of these sites, pledging to prevent any illicit activities that might harm their historical value.

Chhort Bunthong, from the Culture, Education and Tourist Relations department at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said on August 27 that designating this protected area is vital for heritage.

“It’s a historical and cultural site for study and has potential as a tourist destination,” he said, while emphasising a need for ongoing vigilance beyond mere demarcation.

“Once we’ve properly marked an archaeological site, it requires vigilant safeguarding. Without protective measures, there’s a risk from various factors, be it human intervention or even weather conditions,” he pointed out.

He also encouraged local authorities to enhance their cooperative efforts in safeguarding these treasured archaeological sites. His vision is to ensure that these sites remain as an enduring legacy for generations to come.