Friday, October 17, 2008

FAM trip to Sambor

An unusual, non Khmer-looking face on a section of sandstone at Sambor Prei Kuk
Just got in the door after a FAM (familiarization) trip to the Sambor Prei Kuk temple complex just outside Kompong Thom city. We left yesterday afternoon, stayed overnight in Kompong Thom and visited the temple site this morning, with a trip to Phnom Santuk later this afternoon. It was a FAM trip organized by the German development organization GTZ, who've been working in tandem with the local community at Sambor to develop additional community services, aimed at improving the experience at Sambor Prei Kuk for visitors. This was a preview for private sector stakeholders and included a group of 18 reps from tour agencies and two guests from the local press. I think a good time was had by all, the new services add another dimension to a visit to Sambor Prei Kuk - one of the earliest capital cities in Cambodia dating from the 7th century - and one of my favourite places in Cambodia, and getting the local community involved is a great way forward. More on my visit over the next couple of days.
One of the temples at Prasat Trapeang Ropeak, engulfed in tree roots and weeds
One of the many reclining Buddhas carved into the rock on the summit of Phnom Santuk


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The non-Khmer looking face looks very much like Champa imagery, see "The Art of Champa", by Fran├žois Hubert.
Regards, Antoine

October 18, 2008 12:35 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Thank you Antoine. I have a few more faces to post in the near future. I thought it looked almost 'Three Musketeers (French)' in its appearance, with the large moustache!
They are to be spotted on the sandstone mandapa in the southern series of temples known as Prasat Yeay Poeun.
Champa would of course be possible as an art form in that region. Sambor Prei Kuk was also known as Isanapura, a 7th century capital of Chenla, when the King at that time conquered the kingdom of Funan, early in that century. of course there was constant conflict between Champa (in Vietnam) and Chenla, then the Khmer empire, so spoils of war, etc may've accounted for some war trophies being found in Cambodia - just a thought!
Faces of this nature though not as pronounced as these I must say, appear on a few temples such as at Prasat Hanchey and the cella in another part of the Sambor Prei Kuk complex.

October 18, 2008 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, looks like d'Artagnan...

October 22, 2008 8:14 AM  

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