Cambodia: 800-year-old life-sized statue discovered in Angkor Wat

Statues at the ancient Angkor Wat temple complex, Cambodia’s most popular tourist site. Source: Shutterstock

ARCHAEOLOGISTS had a field day during a recent excavation in the Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia where a 2m-statue dating back to the late 12th to early 13th century was unearthed.

The statue was said to have served as a guardian at the entrance of an ancient hospital and was found on the second day of a 12-day dig to study a canal connected to the remains of a 12th century hospital.

While the sandstone statue’s head and legs were missing, its head and torso were still intact with pronounced engravings.

The discovery was described as “the most significant statue discovery” in Angkor Wat since two giant Buddha heads were found in 2011, according to Long Kasal, a spokesman for Apsara Authority, the state agency in charge of the complex.

Local paper The Cambodian Daily described the find as “something that only happens in the movies”. Upon the discovery, the archaeology team held a religious ceremony to ask the spirit protecting the site permission to remove the statue from its site for research.

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