While we did not expect to find it, we did, and it has made us happy.
Siem Reap Province
A TEAM of Cambodian and Japanese archaeologists says it has uncovered an ancient man-made drainage system at the site of the Bayon temple at Angkor Thom.
The temple, built in the late 12th and early 13th centuries during the reign of King Jayavarman VII, has been the subject of three digs since 1999, but this is the first time such a drainage system has been discovered, according to the archeologists.
“The drainage system is for rainwater flow from the first and second levels,” said Heng Kamsan, one of the archaeologists.
Heng Kamsan said 14 metres of the 70-centimetre-wide drain had been dug up, and that its covering of laterite stone was due to be removed next week.
He said the archaeologists had at first been hoping to learn more about the condition and construction of the temple’s foundation.
After one largely fruitless month of work, however, he said the archaeologists were elated to happen upon the drainage system.
“While we did not expect to find it, we did, and it has made us happy,” he said.
The ongoing dig, which began in January, is being carried out under the auspices of UNESCO and the Apsara Authority, which manages the Angkor Wat temple complex. Heng Kamsan, who is deputy director of the archaeology and prehistory department at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, is one of three Cambodian archaeologists participating in the dig.
He said the dig was expected to conclude by the end of March, though he noted that the temple remains open to tourists.