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

  • Reports: Rainsy barred from Jakarta flight

    Sam Rainsy was on Wednesday refused entry to a flight from Malaysia to Indonesia, media reported late on Wednesday. The “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party’s announced return to the Kingdom on Independence Day on Saturday failed to occur. Rainsy

  • Government studying EU’s preliminary report on EBA

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Wednesday said the government was studying the EU Commission’s preliminary report on the human rights situation in the Kingdom that could lead to a suspension of access to its “Everything But Arms” (EBA) agreement. The

  • Phnom Penh International Airport wins award as passenger traffic soars

    The Phnom Penh International Airport has been awarded Best Asia Pacific Regional Airport 2019 for its sustained high growth in passenger traffic in recent years. The award was presented by the Capa Centre for Aviation (Capa) – a world-leading and trusted organisation that provides market intelligence to

  • Gov’t: Rainsy’s ‘coup plot’ a failure

    The government on Wednesday commended the Kingdom’s security forces for thwarting the attempted “coup plot” by former opposition leader Sam Rainsy through his announced return to Cambodia on November 9. The comments came as Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue

  • PM responds to Rainsy ticket claims

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday expressed frustration over claims by Sam Rainsy that he had altered Rainsy’s ticket with Thai Airways to prevent him boarding his November 7 flight to Thailand, from where he had claimed he would enter Cambodia. Hun Sen made the

  • Chinese tourists lead international visitors

    Chinese tourists again topped the list of foreign visitors to Cambodia during the first nine months of this year, with the Ministry of Tourism on Wednesday reporting a 30 per cent increase on the same period last year. The Kingdom received 4.81 million international tourists in that