Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Archaeologists unearth ancient Funan burial site in Prey Veng town

Archaeologists unearth ancient Funan burial site in Prey Veng town

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Six ancient Funan graves have been excavated in Prey Veng province. Cambotrips

Archaeologists unearth ancient Funan burial site in Prey Veng town

Archaeologists have unearthed six ancient graves in Tnort Tret village, in Prey Veng town's Takor commune, concluding that the tombs date from the Funan era between the first and fifth centuries AD.

Funan is the name given to an Indianised Southeast Asian state centred on the Mekong Delta that existed in that period.

Voeun Vuthy, director of the Archaeology and Prehistory Department at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, said six archaeologists excavated the location, found at the construction site for a road, for 10 days and uncovered the tombs. The dig in Prey Veng province was completed last Tuesday.

The body parts and pieces of jugs and other pottery items discovered are to be kept at the department for further examination, Vuthy added.

Five tombs were located in the upper layer of the ground with one at a depth of 2.3m. They found tools and other items buried with the bodies, he said.

“After the preliminary assessment, we have concluded that there were people living in this area between the first and fifth centuries because this area was the foundation of Funan-era culture."

“Only human labour was used in the excavation because we didn’t want anything to be damaged. We want to preserve the fragments of bodies and pottery because these items illustrate the history of the era. We didn’t want the tombs, which are evidence of the history of Cambodia, to be buried under a road,” Vuthy said.

He said that all the items collected will be preserved as national treasures for future generations.

Nuth Bun Doeun, Prey Veng town police chief, said the ancient tombs were located in a hilly area long considered sacred. The site did not belong to anyone, but villagers said people prayed there as the hills were ancient and sacred.

Development had caused traffic congestion in the town, so the government ordered the building of Prey Veng's third ring road.

Experts feared the project would impact the ancient tombs, with the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts assessing and excavating the site, he said.

“The ancient area is on the tallest hill with some trees. The villagers do not exactly know what the area is, but they have been worshipping there for many years. Before the archaeologists came, they held a religious ceremony for the excavation,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Rainsy stopped in Paris from boarding Thai flight

    Airline officials at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport on Thursday prevented Sam Rainsy from boarding his flight to Bangkok ahead of his announced return to Cambodia on Saturday. Prime Minister Hun Sen had earlier in the day assured Phnom Penh residents that there would be

  • Analyst: Rainsy blocked from boarding flight 'an excuse'

    THAI Airways not allowing Sam Rainsy on its route from Paris to Bangkok on Thursday is being used as an excuse to keep his standing among fellow coup plotters and his uninformed supporters as flights to non-Asean countries are available, an analyst said on Friday.

  • Rainsy lands in Malaysia

    Cambodian opposition figure Sam Rainsy arrived in Kuala Lumpur airport on Saturday afternoon after boarding a flight from Paris, where he has been living for more than four years. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesperson Koy Kuong said on Saturday that Cambodia respected

  • Touch: Rainsy will never return

    Sam Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has claimed it has achieved 70 per cent of its struggle to find a solution to the current political situation in the Kingdom. Just before boarding a plane at Charles de Gaulle

  • Sokha continues call for dropping of charge after bail conditions reduced

    Not satisfied with having his bail conditions reduced, allowing him to travel freely in Cambodia, Kem Sokha says he wants his charge totally dropped. “As an innocent man who has been in detention for two years even without being found guilty, I continue to demand

  • MEPs' call for Rainsy's safety not European Parliament position

    The European Parliament said on Friday that a statement by 56 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) calling for guarantees of Sam Rainsy’s freedom and safety should he return to Cambodia did not represent its position. Delphine Colard, the European Parliament’s press officer told