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New publication catalogues Phnom Kulen's ancient artefacts

The Kulen waterfall with lingams in the Preah Jayavarman-Norodom National Park. Photo supplied
The Kulen waterfall with lingams in the Preah Jayavarman-Norodom National Park. Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon

New publication catalogues Phnom Kulen's ancient artefacts

A research catalogue of ancient sites and artefacts found in Preah Jayavarman-Norodom National Park, more commonly known as Phnom Kulen, was launched yesterday at the Ministry of Environment.

Published in Khmer by the Ministry’s Department of Nature Conservation and Protection, List of Historical Places at Preah Jayavarman-Norodom National Park (Phnom Kulen) features nearly 200 pages of photographs accompanied by descriptions of style, eras and temple locations.

“Phnom Kulen was the city of Jayavarman II in the ninth century,” Royal University of Phnom Penh history professor Sambo Manara said. “This place is very important for our people, who dedicated their life to the god king.”

Atop Phnom Kulen, he continued, Jayavarman II established his divine rule by devaraja, associating his power with the Hindu god Shiva.

“From the top of the mountain, you see a thousand lingams [phallic sculptures] in the stream down to the waterfall of Kulen,” he said in reference to one of the main attractions in the park, adding that the mountain is the source of the Siem Reap river.

Yin Kimsean, secretary of state at the Environment Ministry, speaking at the ceremony attended by officials and students, noted the importance of cataloguing the preservation site, which is managed by the ministry.

“Books and other research articles are very important for our society and they help develop the soul and knowledge within all of us,” he said.

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