Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kampong Speu dig turns up unexpected treasure

Kampong Speu dig turns up unexpected treasure

Kampong Speu dig turns up unexpected treasure

120831_02

People stand next to a sixth- or seventh-century statue that was found in a pond in Kampong Speu province on Monday. Photograph supplied

An excavator digging a pool in Kampong Speu province’s Samrong Tong district this week struck an unexpected find when its operators unearthed an ancient Hindu statue two metres below ground.

The 1.4-metre stone statue of the Hindu god Vishnu is thought to have been carved in the sixth or seventh  centuries, around the time of the early Khmer polity of Funan, one expert believes, perhaps travelling some distance to get to the spot it was discovered.

“This one could be interesting . . . because it’s far from the Funan area of Takeo,” former archaeology lecturer Son Soubert said after examining a photo of the headdressed stone figure, now sporting only one and a half arms.

“Usually the right front arm holds a bowl, symbolising earth, and the right rear arm should hold the chakra.”

Provincial Culture and Fine Arts Department director Sun Chea believes the statue was buried thousands of years ago near an old temple site – and that more artifacts may surface nearby.

“About 200 metres from the place where they found the statue is where the old temples were built. That’s why there are statues over there,” he said. “In March this year, we found a similar statue in a pool, from the same era. We sent it to the National Museum in June.”

Two weeks ago, six ancient bronze Buddhist statues potentially worth hundreds of thousands of dollars were discovered by children in Kampong Chhnang province’s Kampong Leng district.

Brak Sakorn, deputy director of the provincial Culture and Fine Arts Department, said the six statues would be housed not in Phnom Penh’s National Museum but in the Kampong Chhnang provincial museum.

“We have our own museum, so we don’t need to send it there, because we need the antiquities to keep for the people and for visiting tourists,” she said.

The Vishnu statue was sent to the National Museum on Wednesday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mom Kunthear at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Guards protest dismissals, reject claims of sharing naked photos of child

    Some 20 former security guards at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh protested on Tuesday against their dismissal. They accused their employers of falsely claiming they had viewed and shared child pornography from their mobile phones as grounds for their termination. In total, 32 personnel were dismissed

  • We’re going to Wisney World!

    More than 6,000 mostly Chinese attendees witnessed the inauguration ceremony of a $1 billion Sihanoukville resort project called Wisney World in the capital on Wednesday. The event on Koh Pich, attended by several senior Cambodian government officials, is a joint venture between China’s AMC International and

  • Funcinpec urges probe into deadly Preah Sihanouk accident

    THE Funcinpec party has urged the government, especially the Ministry of Interior, to investigate the traffic accident in Preah Sihanouk province which left Prince Norodom Ranariddh badly injured and his wife Ouk Phalla dead. Funcinpec Vice President You Hokry told reporters at Botum Votey pagoda,