Another Cambodian Archaeological Site Registered on World Heritage List


AKP, July 09, 2017 – Sambor Prei Kuk, a well-known cultural, historical and archaeological site of Cambodia, was listed as a new World Heritage Site of UNESCO yesterday night, according to an announcement of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts released this morning.

The listing was made during the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee held in Krakow, Poland, it pointed out.

This is another national great pride issued from the efforts of the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) under the clear-sighted leadership of Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, stressed the announcement, adding that it also reflects the RGC’s endeavors in sustainable heritage conservation and development.

On his official Facebook page, Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen expressed his congratulations over the inscription of Sambor Prei Kuk on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

The premier thanked the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and other relevant institutions as well as competent authorities at all levels for their contribution to the conservation, protection and registration of Sambor Prei Kuk.

Located in Sambo village, Sambo commune, Prasat Sambo district, Kampong Thom province, Sambor Prei Kuk was registered along with other two sites in China and India.

According to a UNESCO’s news release, the archaeological site of Sambor Prei Kuk, “the temple in the richness of the forest” in the Khmer language, has been identified as Ishanapura, the capital of the Chenla Empire that flourished in the late 6th and early 7th centuries CE. The vestiges of the city cover an area of 25 square kilometres and include a walled city centre as well as numerous temples, ten of which are octagonal, unique specimens of their genre in Southeast Asia. Decorated sandstone elements in the site are characteristic of the pre-Angkor decorative idiom, known as the Sambor Prei Kuk Style. Some of these elements, including lintels, pediments and colonnades, are true masterpieces. The art and architecture developed here became models for other parts of the region and lay the ground for the unique Khmer style of the Angkor period.

The other two listed sites are Kulangsu, a historic international settlement in China and the Historic City of Ahmadabad in India.

With Sambor Prei Kuk, Cambodia has in total seven heritages registered on the World Heritage List. The Historic Site of Angkor was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1992, Preah Reach Troap Dance (Royal Ballet) and Lakhon Sbek Thom (big shadow puppet) were proclaimed masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity respectively in 2003 and 2005, the 11th-century Preah Vihear Temple was listed a World Heritage Site in 2008, Teanh Prot (tug-of-war), a popular recreational game, was named an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2015, and Chapei Dang Veng, a Cambodian musical instrument, was registered in 2016 on the UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.

Cambodia is now requesting to inscribe Lakhon Khol and Labok Kator on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.