The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has catalogued 711 of 1,242 artistic objects collected from residents at 91 temples in the Angkor area as they work to identify them and determine their origins.
|ANA said the discovered artefacts were ‘fractures’ of various
centuries-old temples within the area [Credit: ANA]
ANA spokesman Long Kosal told The Post on Tuesday that the recently discovered artefacts were fractures of various centuries-old temples within the area.
“The items were broken off from temples. So we have to collect them for safekeeping to be identified in the inventory. We want to know where and when they were retrieved. Hopefully, we can determine their identities,” he said.
ANA said the identification of the objects are based on reliable information from the type of sculptures, sources, material elements, sizes, locations, dates, photographs and other descriptions. Identifying them helps facilitate repair work and prevents future loss of artefacts, it said.
Chhouk Somala, the officer in charge of archaeological registration at the Department of Monuments and Preventive Archaeology, said the 711 artistic objects included sandstone carvings with stone inscriptions, sculptures of gods, thrones, pedestals, lintels, gables, diamond fractures, pottery and metallic objects.
|The sacred cow statue was found on an ancient hill
in Preah Vihear province [Credit: ANA]
“Listing them is of extreme importance. We want to preserve the heritage of the capital of the former Angkor Empire. There are still many other artistic objects scattered on the ground and underground. To determine their identities, those objects must be catalogued,” he said.
The ANA said the remaining 531 factures will soon be catalogued. It said Buddha sculptures and objects were also recently collected by a working group from a guard cottage to the south of the Angkor Temples. They are being kept at the ANA headquarters for further studies and repairs.
Earlier this week a sacred statue of a cow that was discovered on an ancient hill in Preah Vihear province.
Archaeologist Moung Chansey who works in the Preah Vihear museum said that even though the statue was not complete, it was made during the Angkor era.
“This statue is made of soft stone and it seems to have been made during the Angkor era. We did not do tests to find out the age of the stone yet,” he said.
Chansey said archaeologists at the national level in Phnom Penh will conduct further experiments. “They will use chemical substances to pinpoint the age of this statue,” he said.