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Bokeo Dig Unearths Largest Buddha Statue to Date

Source: Vientiane Times

A statue of Buddha at least two meters tall was excavated from a sandy area near the Mekong River on Thursday, making it the largest statue to be unearthed during the ongoing search for ancient artifacts in Tonpheung district, Bokeo district, which began in March.

Nine other Buddha images were dug up on Wednesday. One was 30 centimeters tall and 25 centimeters wide, another was 27 centimeters tall and 18 centimeters wide, and a third measured 36×30 centimeters.

The rest were measured at 15x10cm, 36x24cm, 15x17cm, 28x11cm, 23x15cm, and 30x22cm.

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No precise facts about the age and origin of the images are known, but it is believed they are remnants of temples and stupas that were part of the town of Souvanna Khomkham which occupied the site several hundred years ago.

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

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

Most of the images found to date are made of bronze and all have been placed in Thongthip Phatthanaram temple in Yaitonpheung village, Tonpheung district, for safekeeping, where they are being closely guarded.