Excavations at ruined temple in Cambodia's famed Angkor site almost completed

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PHNOM PENH, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Archaeologists from the APSARA National Authority (ANA) have almost completed excavations at the ruined Prohm Kel temple in the Angkor Archaeological Park in northwest Cambodia's Siem Reap province, the authority said in a news release on Wednesday.

The excavations were made to study the temple's entire structure before proceeding to restore it, the news release said, adding that the sandstone temple was one of the hospital chapels around the Angkor Thom temple during the reign of King Jayavarman VII at the end of the 12th century.

ANA's archaeologist Pheng Dara said that in the excavation work, the team had excavated three different pits at the entrance, the library and the foundation of the temple tower.

"The excavations of the Prohm Kel temple found that the foundations of the first entrance, the outer wall, as well as the library were still in good stability, while the foundation of the temple tower seemed to have collapsed," he said.

The excavations began in October 2021 and are scheduled to be finished in February 2022, the press release said.

The 401-square km Angkor Archaeological Park, inscribed on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1992, is the kingdom's most popular tourist destination.

The site received up to 2.2 million international tourists in 2019, earning gross revenue of 99 million U.S. dollars from ticket sales.

But during the pandemic, the site greeted only 12,873 foreigners in 2021, down 96.8 percent year-on-year, the Angkor Enterprise said, adding that it earned gross revenue of 528,121 dollars from ticket sales last year, also down 97 percent. Enditem

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