The statue found (Source: sg.news.yahoo.com)
Phnom Penh (VNA) – Archaeologists have found a large, centuries-old statue which is believed to have once stood guard over an ancient hospital at Cambodia's renowned Angkor temple complex.

The government agency that oversees the complex, the Apsara Authority, said the nearly two-metre-tall statue, which is thought to be from the late 12th to the early 13th century, was discovered during an excavation on July 29.

Cambodian archaeologists and experts from Singapore's Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) found the statue buried 40 centimetres under the ground during an excavation of an Angkor-era hospital built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII.

The Apsara agency said the sandstone statue's arms and legs had broken off but the carving on the body and head "remain beautiful" despite the passage of time.

Angkor was the capital of the Khmer Empire, which flourished from approximately the 9th to 15th centuries. Large numbers of architectural and religious artifacts have been looted from there and sold overseas, while others were buried for safekeeping in wartime in the 1970s.-VNA