A group of children hunting for birds in Phnom Kulen, Siem Reap, unintentionally helped uncover two metal statues of the Buddha on Tuesday after they alerted conservation authorities about a shallow ditch that appeared to resemble the Buddha’s footprint.
Apsara Authority spokesman Long Kosal confirmed yesterday that two statues were dug up from the site – one, about 27 centimetres tall, sitting in a meditation pose, and another, about 30 centimetres high, in a sitting stance.
The statues were discovered about 150 metres away from the holy site of Preah Ang Thom.
“[The kids found] a hole that resembles the Buddha’s foot. Then they reported this to the Conservation Department outside of Angkor Park,” he said, “[The department] sent staff to the site to clarify the report, and started to remove the earth. When they dug about 2.8 metres, they found the two Buddhas.”
Kosal added that the two statues were cast from black metal, though their exact composition and the period they date from are still yet to be determined.
“We don’t know how long they’ve been there, but according to what have seen, they were [likely] buried there a long time ago,” he said.
The statues, worn by both time and the elements, have now been recovered by Apsara and are currently being studied.