A Siem Reap province farmer tilling soil for a new crop found a Bayon-style sandstone statue of the Buddha that was crafted in the 12th or 13th century, an official said on Thursday.
The exhumed piece, depicting a seven-headed serpent rising over the seated Buddha, was uncovered on Wednesday in Svay Loeu district’s Kantuot commune and handed to the Apsara Authority the same day, said Long Kosal, spokesman for the authority, which is responsible for maintaining the Angkor Archaeological Park world heritage site.
The farmers “handed the statue to the Apsara Authority through the department of conservation of monuments outside Angkor park,” Mr. Kosal said. Prim Rom, the farmer who discovered the statue, received 1 million riel, about $250, for returning it to authorities.
Mr. Kosal said an expert verified that the statue was sculpted in the Bayon style, sometime between the late 12th and early 13th centuries. The piece, which is 59 cm high and 18 cm wide, will be kept at the Preah Norodom Sihanouk-Angkor Museum in Siem Reap city, Mr. Kosal said.