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Ancient history dug up on ring road construction site

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11 tombs were unearthed, with 14 kinds of pottery and the bones of wild bulls, pigs, sambar, stags, wolves and rhino put under corpses. Facebook

Ancient history dug up on ring road construction site

An expert on archaeology and pre-history said many artefacts and evidence of human settlement in early times and the post-Angkorean era were discovered at Tuol Os Lok Station in Preah Puth commune’s Bonna village of Kandal province’s Kandal Stung district.

Voeun Vuthy, director of the Archaeology and Prehistory Department at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, told The Post on June 8 that specialists excavating the site had discovered a lot of evidence of human activity from early times.

He added that 11 tombs were unearthed, with 14 kinds of pottery and the bones of wild bulls, pigs, sambar, stags, wolves and rhino placed under corpses.

The ministry has not decided whether the artefacts will be put on display at the National Museum or the Kandal provincial museum, pending further study and analysis over the next three to six months.

He continued that according to information from other stations, the artefacts at Tuol Os Lok were different and had tools from the 2nd century during the Funan era until the post-Ankgorean era. The station was also used for burials.

He said that the ministry planned to send the human remains and broken pieces of pottery to laboratories in the US and the Netherlands to check the age after Covid-19 subsides. The purpose of the excavation was to study human development and human movement.

“Upon excavating Tuol Os Lok, I discovered objects from Angkor Borei. It means the objects were produced in Takeo province. The area became Bonna village. What is important is that the evidence reveals the foundation of a human settlement,” he said.

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Vuthy said that the purpose of the excavation was to study and research the artefacts for storage as the area was located where the government is developing the third city ring road.

The excavation began on May 19 and was finished on June 2.

Prak Sunnara, the culture ministry’s secretary of state in charge of archaeology and excavation, said that after artefacts were discovered, specialists have to study and analyse them to determine their age and origin of the objects. If the objects are precious, they will be stored at the museum.

“For example, human graveyards have been discovered. So, the remains were housed in glass cabinets and put on display at the museum in Banteay Meanchey province. Hopefully, researchers and tourists can learn about Khmer history,” he said.

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