Ancient lion statue found at Cambodia’s temple complex hinh anh 1Visitors pose for photos with a newly-discovered lion statue in Banteay Meanchey Province. (Source: Cambodia's culture ministry)

Hanoi (VNA)
Cambodian archaeologists have unearthed a large ancient lion statue during an excavation at an ancient pond’s jetty in the Banteay Chhmar temple's complex in the northwestern province of Banteay Meanchey.

Prak Sovannara, director-general of the culture ministry's heritage department, said the statue was found by accident on February 3 by a group of the ministry's archaeologists while digging the pond's jetty.

The statue was made of sandstone and dates back to the late 12th or early 13th century, he said, adding that it was buried more than a metre under the ground and is still in good shape.

Located in Banteay Meanchey's Thmar Puok district, the Banteay Chhmar temple was built in the late 12th or early 13th century during the reign of King Jayavarman VII.

Its outer gallery is carved with bas-reliefs depicting scenes of military engagements and daily life.

The temple is one of the several ancient sites that Cambodia has planned to nominate for the UNESCO-recognised world heritage status./.