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Bokeo​ Adds 8 More Buddha Statues to Collection

Source: Vientiane Times

Authorities​ in Bokeo province have added eight more Buddha statues to their collection following the recent discovery of artifacts at a site in Tonpheung district on May 18, with the search continuing for other items.

Some of the Buddha statues were engraved with letters on the back, and officials are still trying to ascertain the meaning of the characters.

Precise facts about the age and origin of the figurines aren’t known but authorities believe they are the remnants of temples and stupas that were part of the town
of Souvanna Khomkham, which occupied the site several hundred years ago.

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Last week, a statue of the Buddha, which is about two meters tall, was excavated from a sandy area near the Mekong river, making it the largest statue to be unearthed during the ongoing search for ancient artifacts in Tonpheung district. The excavation work began in March.

The excavation has been upgraded to the ministry level, but locally sourced equipment and Lao officials continue to be involved in the process as there is no need for more qualified experts.

The government has appointed a ministry-level committee comprising senior officials to ensure that future excavations are carried out professionally and that records detailing all the artifacts are systematic and accurate.

Most of the statues found to date are made of bronze and they have all been placed at the Thongthip Phatthanaram temple in Yaitonpheung village of Tonpheung district for safekeeping. Authorities have ensured that the artifacts are being closely guarded.