Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gold-covered boundary stone found within Angkor Thom’s West Gate

Gold-covered boundary stone found within Angkor Thom’s West Gate

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The boundary stone is 53 cm by 53 cm and 12 cm thick and is covered with thin sheets of gold. It was found at the Takav Gate when the upper part of the gate’s structure was dismantled for restoration work. ANA

Gold-covered boundary stone found within Angkor Thom’s West Gate

The Apsara National Authority (ANA) announced that their working group in charge of restoration work at Angkor Thom's Takav Gate or the West Gate recently found an ancient stone slab commonly known as a boundary stone.

The boundary stone is 53 cm by 53 cm and 12 cm thick and is covered with thin sheets of gold. It was found at the Takav Gate when the upper part of the gate’s structure was dismantled for restoration work.

“On the stone slab, there are many holes – a large round hole in the center of the stone surface, surrounded by square holes in all eight directions and in the northeast corner, which all have significance in traditional Khmer beliefs from ancient times to the present,” the ANA said.

Kim Sothin, deputy director-general of the ANA, said that most buried boundary stones were found in the middle area at the bottom of the temple, but they were mostly thicker than the stones found at the top.

He said that the beliefs about burying boundary stones were related to the construction of Khmer houses and were similar to the custom of having a red cloth known in Khmer as a yon attached to the middle of a newly-built roof in order to protect the house.

He said the stone slab was originally buried on the top of the central tower, but it slipped and fell down into the middle of the gate. Similar buried stones were found in some of the temple foundations at the Angkor site.

“This ancient slab contains nine holes on each side covered by thin sheets of gold and a hole in the center for plugging in a bronze trident handle. The ancestors used prayer incantations on such stones to make the temple foundations stronger, a practice depicted in the existing Bayon carvings,” Sothin said.

ANA’s restoration team will return the boundary stone to the top of the Takav Gate after the restoration work is complete. Various forms of boundary stones have also been found at the Elephant Terrace, Phnom Kulen, Banteay Srei temple, Banteay Kdei temple and Tonle Snguot temple, the ANA said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Historic Battambang town bans billboards

    The Battambang town administration informed all house and business owners in Svay Por commune to remove all billboards by August 1 as it is preparing to submit the town to UNESCO for inclusion on its historical cultural heritage list. Its July 25 notice said all signage was

  • All foreigners' accommodations to be inspected: Sar Kheng

    The Ministry of Interior is undertaking a serious effort to inspect all the accommodations of foreigners in Cambodia – except diplomats – in order to find and identify human traffickers. Minister Sar Kheng said this would include inspections on the homes of foreigners employed by businesses, private

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Khmer influence growing in Hollywood

    The rare success of The Cleaning Lady – an American TV series which stars Cambodian-French Hollywood actress Elodie Yung – sheds some light on Asian immigrants to the US, yet a significant representation gap of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) exists both on screen and behind

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of