Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Ironworks Discovered Near Angkor Wat

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

(Bjørn Christian Tørrissen, via Wikimedia Commons)PREAH VIHEAR, CAMBODIA—While searching for a lost settlement along the ancient road linking Preah Vihear Temple and Stung Treng City, archaeologist Thuy Chanthourn and his students noticed that the construction workers building a new road along the route had unearthed dark soil, small black stones, pottery, and pieces of smelted iron. Further investigation revealed five 1,200-year-old ironworks. The iron was probably used to produce weapons, tools, and chariots for Angkor’s Khmer leaders, and may also have been used in the construction of the temples themselves. “The iron smelter sites need to be preserved as future tourism destinations and for future research and excavation,” commented Preah Vihear’s provincial governor, Oum Mara.