Echoes of ancient crafts resurface at Angkor Thom

According to the authorities, the kiln has remained untouched and its secrets were only skimmed through the study of pottery fragments.

Kim Yutharo

Kim Yutharo

The Phnom Penh Post


Researchers discovered ceramic kilns in the Angkor area, which was in operation in mid-12th century. ANA

July 13, 2023

PHNOM PENH – In an intriguing revelation of the past, the APSARA National Authority (ANA), in collaboration with the US’ University of Hawaii and Australia’s Flinders University, has successfully detected the structure of a ceramic kiln.

Using a magnetometer, a device that measures magnetic signals, the team uncovered the kiln at the Dei Chhnang Gate, nestled in the northwest corner of Angkor Thom, within the confines of Nokor Krao village in Siem Reap province.

The ANA detailed the location of the kiln cluster on July 10, explaining its position on a substantial mound, stretching 230m in length and 84m in width.

The mound, estimated to rise 2.7m high, parallels the wall of Angkor Thom, a mere 123m from the Dei Chhnang Gate.

Tin Tina, deputy director of the ANA’s Department of Research, Training and Communication, offered insights into the fascinating discovery.

“After inspecting, verifying and extracting archaeological data, our researchers have identified 25 unexplored mounds,” he disclosed.

The kiln remains untouched, its secrets only skimmed through the study of pottery fragments.

In order to further their understanding of the kiln’s purpose and history, the ANA, in collaboration with its partner universities, expanded the investigation.

“In 2020 and 2022, our team excavated two mounds to gather data that confirmed this location as a kiln site,” said Tina.

This critical evidence led to the site’s formal identification as a ceramic kiln.

The kiln, according to Tina, holds a fascinating tale. Functioning since the mid-12th century, it ceased operations in the early 15th century, marking an era of flourishing ceramic production within the Angkor area.

ANA spokesman Long Kosal could not be reached for comment on July 10.

To widen the scope of their research on the kiln, the ANA’s research team joined forces with the two universities.

The collaboration facilitated the use of a magnetometer to detect the kiln structure at Angkor Thom’s Dei Chhnang Gate.

The collaborative investigation underscores the potential of the data obtained. This significant information paves the way for future archaeological excavations and research, promising to shed light on the rich ceramic history of the region.

The key to unlocking the secrets of Angkor Thom’s ceramic past lies within the kiln, waiting to be unearthed.

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