Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Angkor pond dug for research

Angkor pond dug for research

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Apsara Authority archaeologists are excavating the northern pond at Angkor Wat temple to learn more about its ancient structure. SABAY NEWS

Angkor pond dug for research

Supported by the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, Apsara Authority archaeologists are excavating the northern pond at Angkor Wat temple to learn more about its ancient structure. Once the research is complete, the pond will be restored and beautified.

Apsara Authority spokesperson Long Kosal told The Post on Monday that the archaeologists are looking to study the pond’s structure and foundations, which were built hundreds of years ago.

The authority issued a statement in February saying the work would commence on February 20 but did not at the time know when the project would be completed or what the total budget would ultimately be.

“Our archaeologists want to learn more about the pond’s design and structure, especially regarding the layers of rock in its foundations. They hope to discover what tools and materials our ancestors used."

“The pond used to be deeper than it is now, because soil flows in and settles, making it shallower. The pond actually serves no specific purpose, but tourists love it and enjoy taking pictures of the temple’s reflection in the water,” Kosal said.

Draining the pond

He said all the water must be removed during the archaeological excavation, and it will be allowed to dry before the work can begin.

Once the archaeological studies are completed, he said, experts will restore the pond to preserve its “valuable ancient heritage”.

Voeun Vuthy, the Archaeology and Prehistory Department director at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, told The Post on Monday that he was not involved in the excavation because it is the responsibility of sub-national authorities.

However, he supported the project’s aims to research the pond and document it for future generations.

“The excavation will not affect the temples because they are only studying the pond’s infrastructure. Several years ago, experts from France excavated one side of the pond and now we will excavate the other side to understand it even more."

“After the excavation, if nothing important is found, we will restore the pond and make it deeper,” he said.

The Apsara Authority statement on February 15 said: “The Department of Conservation of Monuments and Preventive Archaeology will commence the excavation on February 20 with one aim being to continue to provide the opportunity for Cambodian and international visitors to take pictures of Angkor Wat temple reflecting in the water."

“The Apsara Authority has already completed work on the southern ponds and restored the water level to its maximum height”.

The authority said while the archaeological work is ongoing, some parts of the ancient ponds will be closed off to the public to enable the team of archaeologists to conduct their research.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Support of CNRP return online will lead to arrest’

    Anyone posting messages supporting the return of Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), on social media will be arrested, the Ministry of Interior announced on Tuesday. Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak told The Post on Monday that authorities

  • CNRP activists arrested for ‘plotting insecurity’

    Three activists for the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have been sent to Phnom Penh Municipal Court after they were arrested for their alleged involvement in an overseas-organised plot to mobilise demonstrations and cause insecurity. National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun said the

  • Police conduct raid on Orchid massage parlour

    Thirty-seven people, including three minors, were detained after Phnom Penh Municipal Police and the Department of Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection raided the Orchid massage parlour in Sen Sok district’s Phnom Penh Thmey commune on Monday. The 27-room massage parlour is believed to have

  • Rainsy charged with ‘insulting the King’

    Ministries and state institutions have condemned Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), for allegedly insulting His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni. The condemnation came in the wake of Rainsy’s claim on Thursday during an interview with Radio