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More border posts to guard prehistoric sites

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Demarcation posts planted at the Banteay Longvek Prehistoric Station in Kampong Chhnang. Culture Ministry

More border posts to guard prehistoric sites

The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts is producing additional border demarcation posts for the national cultural heritage protected area at the Banteay Longvek Prehistoric Station in Kampong Chhnang province’s Kampong Tralach district.

The director of the ministry’s Department of Archaeology and Prehistory Voeun Vuthy told The Post on November 25 that the demarcation posts that would be made is square-shaped, 1.60m high and had a lotus design.

The top layer of the lotus represents the growth of culture, civilisation and the richness of Khmer society.

At the bottom of the lotus and lotus flower layer itself is a logo of the ministry to stress that the site is a protected area under its jurisdiction. Below the logo is a head sculpture (Rahu) representing the guards of the national cultural heritage site.

The lower part of the Rahu is decorated with a layer of an upside-down lotus flower, which represents the roots of the strong Khmer civilisation.

Vuthy said in addition to the sculptures, the pillars also have the design of letters of the “Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts” and “National Cultural Heritage Protected Area”.

“At this time, we have produced more than 140 border posts to protect the national cultural heritage. They will be transported to the Banteay Longvek historical heritage site which will be ready for excavation shortly,” he said.

According to historical documents, the Banteay Longvek National Cultural Heritage Site was built in 1527 by King Chan Reachea. At present, the location of this archaeological site has been settled.

According to Vuthy, since 2007, the ministry has produced thousands of poles to designate protected areas of national cultural heritage.

“We set poles to define the area of the national cultural heritage, but only in the area of prehistoric sites and archaeological sites, where people illegally encroach on the land, because we are afraid of losing and damaging those historical sites,” he said.

Longvek commune chief Toch Y told The Post that two weeks ago, a group of officials from the ministry went to a meeting to raise awareness about the issue.

“In the spirit of the meeting, people’s houses in three villages, including Nha Taing, Srah Chak and Wat village, which are located in the Banteay Longvek historical heritage area, are allowed to continue existing, but the land may be confiscated or further development disallowed,” he said.

However, most people have asked for an appropriate solution in case of land confiscation as they would be hard-pressed to earn a living without it.

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