A centuries-old sandstone naga’s (dragon’s) head, was recently spotted in the vicinity of Tep Pranam temple, inside the ancient city of Angkor Thom, in Cambodia’s famed Angkor Archaeological Park, the APSARA National Authority (ANA) said.
The naga’s head sculpture was found, when a large tree fell down, causing the item, buried in the ground for many years, to emerge from the tree’s roots, ANA said.
Chhouk Somala, head of the art registration team of ANA’s department of conservation of monuments and preventive archaeology, said, the naga’s head sculpture was buried half a metre deep underground.
“When the tree got uprooted, the naga’s head sculpture was found in the tree’s roots,” he said. “The fragment of the naga’s head sculpture was the upper head, which was 1.2 metres long, one metre wide, and 0.3 metre thick.”
Somala said, the Bayon style naga’s head sculpture might have been built simultaneously with the Bayon temple, during the reign of Jayavarman VII, in the late 12th and early 13th centuries.
According to ANA, the discovered naga’s head sculpture has currently been kept at the Preah Norodom Sihanouk-Angkor Museum.
Located in north-west Cambodia’s Siem Reap province, the 401-square-km Angkor Archaeological Park, inscribed on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), in 1992, is the most popular tourist destination in the country.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ancient park attracted up to 2.2 million international tourists in 2019, earning a gross revenue of 99 million U.S. dollars from ticket sales, according to the state-owned Angkor Enterprise.
Source: NAM News Network