A Change of Guard

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Saturday, 28 February 2009

500 year-old tombs discovered in Koh Kong

Top: The coffins, believed to be 500 years old, found placed under large rocks.

Bottom: Human remains contained in the 500 year-old coffins.

27th February, 2009
Reported in English by Khmerization

Koh Kong: A task force from the Directorate of Heritage, Archaeology and Palaeontology of the Ministry of Fine Arts has visited a 500-year-old ancient tomb site in Chiphat village, Thmor Baing district of Koh Kong province.

The team said that the ancient tombs are not the new archaeological finds because the locals said that they knew of the tombs a long time ago, but they did not report their finds to the authority. They only reported the site to the authority after they learned that the site will become an eco-tourist area.

The Ministry of Fine Arts’ search team said these ancient tombs, which contained human skeletons, are located about 40 metres apart from each other.

The first tomb contained a few large jars which have been placed between crevices of mountain rocks about 8 metres tall, but the team said that it had not examined the contents of the jars yet due to inaccessible and inhospitable terrains in the areas. Due to the locals, there are 7 large jars which are in good conditions, and the rest of the jars are badly damaged by looters in search of ancient valuables.

The second tomb was located 40 metres south of the first tomb. The second tomb does not contain any jars like the first tomb, but there are several coffins which had been placed along side each other under the rocks. The tomb has not been examined yet because the site is too dangerous to access.

The two tombs contained 13 coffins which 12 of them are in very good conditions, but one coffin has been in a very fragile state. Those coffins were made from woods, about 80cm-120cm in lengths and 20cm wide which were covered with lids of a triangle shape. In each coffin contained human remains of limb bones, ribs, spinal bones and skulls. There are signs that those coffins have been looted for ancient valuables. Other than human remains, the coffins contained many small jars.

Experts cannot say how old are the tombs until the contents have been tested and analysed with carbon-14 method. But if they are compared to similar finds, with similar conditions in the same Cardamon Mountains which have been found in Pursat province and which have been tested and analysed to be 500 years old, they can assume that these new finds are about 500 years old also.

This is a second find this year, after a team of Japanese archaeologists has just completed their excavations of a 2500-year-old tomb at Snay village, Rohal commune in Preah Net Preah district of Bateay Meanchey province on 24th February, 2009.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

very interesting discoveries. Cambodia is full of history and treasures.