Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Battambang’s prehistoric site La’ang Spean open to visitors

Battambang’s prehistoric site La’ang Spean open to visitors

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Battambang provincial officials are encouraging people to visit the La’ang Spean prehistoric site, located in Ratanak Mondol district’s Treng commune. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Battambang’s prehistoric site La’ang Spean open to visitors

Battambang provincial Department of Tourism officials have called for tourists to visit the La’ang Spean prehistoric site. Recent excavations at the site have unearthed artefacts dating from more than 70,000 years ago.

“To date, stone tools, pottery, jewellery and even human remains have been discovered at the site,” said tourism department deputy director Nou Tha.

The site also contributes to economy of the local community, as they are able to sell souvenirs and snacks to their visitor, he added.

“Most of the tourists who visit the site are foreigners who are interested in seeing the prehistoric artefacts. Most Cambodians aren’t even aware that this fascinating place exists,” said Tha.

“The provincial authorities want to expand this area into a tourist resort, but it is complicated. It falls under the jurisdiction of several bodies, including the Department of Culture and the National Museum. The tourism department is doing what it can to encourage more domestic tourists to visit,” he added.

Battambang provincial deputy governor Soeum Bunrith declined to comment.

The La’ang Spean prehistoric site is a limestone cave complex located in Phnom Teak Traing in Ratanak Mondol district’s Treng commune, about 40km from the provincial town, along National Road 57 towards Pailin province.

Experts from the Ministry of Culture and Fine Art and the National Museum of Natural History of France – led by Heng Sophady of the the ministry and professor Hubert Forrestier of the French museum – are currently conducting more research at the site.

Recent excavations have uncovered artefacts such as broken stone tools from the Paleolithic Age, along with pottery, ornaments (stone beads and bracelets and necklaces’ pendants carved from the teeth of animals), bone fragments and the tombs of ancient humans.

Analysis of the excavated objects show that the caves were inhabited in three different eras: about 71,000 years ago; between 11,000 and 5,000 years ago; and about 3,000 years ago. The caves were used predominantly as burial sites.

The site was first discovered and excavated by Ceci Morey and Roland Morey in the 1960s, although research was then interrupted for more than 40 years.

MOST VIEWED

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports

  • CPP sets out five primary strategic goals for 2023-28

    The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) on January 29 concluded its two-day extraordinary congress, setting the party’s priority goals for 2023-2028. The ruling party’s congress was attended by more than 3,000 members from across the Kingdom, including the members of the permanent and central committees,