Buddha statue uncovered at Angkor Wat

Archaeologists unearthed a sandstone statue of Buddha in the Angkor Archaeological Park, Cambodia. The statue measures nearly 2 metres in height and weights around 200 kilograms.

The ancient statue (by Ea Darith)

The statue was found on the second day of the new season of excavations at the 800-year-old site. The sandstone statue is missing its feet and parts of its legs. Had it been whole, it would have stood at least 2.1 meters. It is believed it originally stood on the grounds of a hospital that was located next to the northern entrance of Angkor Thom, the walled city of King Jayavarman VII. There are four hospitals identified at the four cardinal points of Angkor Thom. They were identified by French archaeologists about 100 years ago, but had never been excavated. In each hospital there were two shrines within the enclosure. They housed three divinities, including a statue of the Medicine Buddha. Many statues of the Buddha were destroyed during the reign of Jayavarman VIII in the mid-13th century in his effort to restore Brahmanism in the country, and most of those that remained were looted, although some were buried for their protection. Archaeologists have also discovered a piece of another statue and much evidence of wooden structures such as roof tiles and ceramics.

Ceremony at the discovery site (by Ea Darith)

(after The Cambodia Daily & Ea Darith)

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