Vientiane Capital, Lao P.D.R
Exciting find as Buddha images unearthed in Bokeo

Bokeo​ authorities are continuing their search for Buddha images​ after more than 30 were unearthed during excavations that took place from March 16-18.

Head of the Information, Culture​ and​ Tourism​ Department​ in Bokeo province, Dr Somkhit Vongpanya, told Vientiane Times that the age and origin of the Buddha images was unclear but that most were made of bronze and some were engraved with letters.

When the excavation is complete, the images will be examined by specialists from the Heritage​ Department of the Ministry​ of Information, Culture and​ Tourism.

In the meantime, the Buddha images have been taken to Thongthip Phatthanaram temple in Yaitonpheung village, Tonpheung​ district, for safekeeping, where they are being closely guarded.
Provincial authorities carried out a search for buried artefacts over the weekend near the Mekong River at a location close to Done Pheungkham island, after the provincial administration office and a team of experts from the Heritage​ Department suggested that this was a likely hunting ground.

On March 16, a large Buddha image was found, measuring 80 centimetres in height, 56 centimetres wide at the shoulders, and having an overall width of 88 centimetres.

On March 17 another eight Buddha images were unearthed, followed by 23 more on March 18.
The excavation followed the discovery on March 11 of the head of a Buddha image and several small headless images while workers were carrying out road repairs near Thongthip temple. The head of the statue was found in sand used by the construction company during the upgrade of the road.

Bokeo province has several old temples and was once the site of an ancient city named Souvannakhomkham. All that remains of it today is a 7- metre-high Buddha statue, which was long ago raided for the treasures hidden inside.