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Over 100 Sandstone Buddha Statues Unearthed at Ta Prohm Temple

Siem Reap, April 28, 2024— Archaeologists from the APSARA National Authority's Department of Conservation of Monuments and Preventive Archaeology have recently uncovered more than 100 pieces of sandstone Buddha statues at Ta Prohm Temple.

The discovery was made while the team was excavating the south side of the temple’s third enclosure. "Initially, our goal was to clean up the soil pile and prepare a catalog of scattered stone fragments for better organization of the temple's layout, as there are numerous stones scattered across the area," explained archaeologist Neth Simon. During this process, several fragments of statues were found just 10 to 15 centimeters below the surface.

Encouraged by this find, the team consulted with senior archaeologists and decided to excavate deeper, which led to the discovery of additional statue pieces, bringing the total count to over 100. "We're still not sure if there are more statues buried deeper," Simon added.

The pieces include statues of the Buddha Sheltered by a Naga, statues of Avalokiteśvara, and other fragments. According to Simon, the style of the fragments is reminiscent of the Bayon period, with some pieces measuring approximately half a meter in height and 40 to 50 centimeters in width.

The team is currently cataloging and measuring the discovered fragments to assess their historical significance and plan for their preservation.

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