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Ancient Sanskrit inscribed sandstone block found at Cambodia's Tonle Snguot temple

Experts from the Apsara Authority have found a sandstone block with Sanskrit engravings at the Tonle Snguot temple located in Siem Reap city’s Kok Chak commune, while they were cleaning and repairing the temple.

Ancient Sanskrit inscribed sandstone block found at Cambodia's Tonle Snguot temple
Credit: Apsara Authority
Long Kosal, Apsara Authority spokesman, yesterday said the inscription stanza stone is 100cm in height, 40cmwide and 20cm thick, with 55 lines of Sanskrit inscribed on it.

He said, “The inscription stone has been taken by experts from the temple to be repaired at the Conservation of Monuments Department before sending it to Sanskrit experts to study, research and interpret the piece.”

According to the Apsara Authority, Tonle Snguot temple is one of 102 hospitals King Jayavarman VII built in the late 12th and early 13th centuries.

Six hospitals have been discovered in the Angkor Archaeological Park, including four located around Angkor Thom and Tonle Snguot temple.

The Apsara Authority said the temple structure is at high risk due to the vegetation growth and rainfall, with trees roots growing into the foundation of the temple.

The tree roots have also allowed water to get into the foundation, causing some of the face to collapse, he said.

Head of Conservation of Monuments in the Angkor Park Department Im Sokrithy said the inscription stone might not belong to Tonle Snguot temple and may have been taken from another temple.

“According to the initial epigraphical study, the inscription was probably made in the late 11th to early 12th century,” he said.

Mr Sokrithy said the inscription stone has partly lost its letters, but much of it remains which can be researched.

“The loss of the letters was not a case of erosion, as according to our conclusion. The stone was taken from another temple to be used as flooring in the temple it was found in and cut to fit in the ground.”

“This was a common practice in ancient times,” he added.

In the processes of cleaning and repairing the Tonle Snguot temple, the Apsara Authority has also found three statues, including a Buddha statue.

These broken statue pieces have been reassembled by experts and put in an exhibition for the public at the Preah Norodom Sihanouk-Angkor Museum.

Author: Pech Sotheary | Source: Khmer Times [June 29, 2020]


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