A road construction crew in Battambang province’s Banan district accidentally unearthed a 1,000-year-old statue of a lion on Saturday, district police chief Buth Sambo said yesterday.
The statue was found in Snoeng commune when construction workers used a tractor while building a road from Battambang to Pailin province, Mr Sambo said.
“The statue is considered to be around 1,000 years old because the temple it was found near was built in the 11th century,” he said.
Mom Krath, director of the provincial culture and fine arts department, said yesterday that the statue was about 50 cm tall and approximately 100 kg, although its left side was damaged. He added that the statue was now at the provincial museum for inspection and conservation work.
“The lion was broken on the left thigh when the tractor hit it but I have collected every piece and will be putting it back together at the museum,” Mr Krath said.
Archeologist Chhay Visoth said it was common for people inadvertently to find buried artifacts, especially during construction and agriculture projects near temples.
“In fact in 2010, several statues have been turned into the [National Museum] by people in Kompong Speu and Kompong Cham while they were preparing their rice fields,” he said.
(Additional reporting by Christi Hang)