Archaeologists unearth ancient tortoise statue at Cambodia's Angkor complex

The large ancient tortoise statue was found at the excavation site of the Srah Srang temple on May 6. - AP

PHNOM PENH (Xinhua): Archaeologists have found a large ancient tortoise statue during an excavation at Srah Srang temple standing on an island in the middle of Srah Srang reservoir in the complex of the famed Angkor Archaeological Park in Cambodia, a spokesman said on Thursday (May 7)..

Long Kosal, communications director and spokesman for the Apsara National Authority, which manages the park, said the tortoise statue was unearthed on Wednesday (May 6) by a group of the Apsara National Authority archaeologists during the excavation.

"The large tortoise statue was made of sandstone," he told Xinhua, adding that it is unclear yet how big or heavy the tortoise is.

The archaeological excavation at the Srah Srang temple started in late March and is scheduled to complete within six weeks.

Earlier this week, the archaeological team also discovered three types of ancient objects at the temple, including two metal tridents, one of which was intact and another with only the end point remaining, many crystal stones and a large piece of a dragon statue.

Situated in the middle of the Srah Srang (Royal Bath) reservoir, the remnants of the temple can be seen peaking above the waterline in the dry season, and the temple is completely swallowed by immense rainfall in the wet season.

Located in northwest Siem Reap province, the 401sq km Angkor Archeological Park, inscribed on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) in 1992, is the kingdom's most popular tourist destination.

The ancient park attracted 384,317 foreign tourists in the first four months of 2020, earning gross revenue of nearly US$18 million from ticket sales, according to an Angkor Enterprise's report. - Xinhua

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