Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Remarkable carvings abound

A 'mini flying palace' on a rare cella at Prasat Han Chey
Intricate carvings are the hallmark of the Angkorean-era craftsman who decorated their magnifient temples with gloriously intricate lintels, pediments and other carvings. On my visit to Kompong Cham at the weekend to celebrate P'chum Ben, I also got out into the countryside on the hunt for some of the smaller temples that just a handful of tourists visit but which contain some beautiful examples of the art of carving from the Angkorean period. These two shown here are just a brief taster of what I found. The top carving can be seen at the base of a square cella at Prasat Han Chey, north of Kompong Cham city, and is a miniature stylized representation of a larger temple, almost in the style of the 'flying palaces' of Sambor Prei Kuk. The kneeling and praying female figure below is from a lintel I located under a tree at Wat Speu in the Chamkar Leu district, on the northern fringes of the province. The lintel appeared to be in the Sambor Prei Kuk style (mid-7th century) too, which technically is pre-Angkorean but I'm sure you get my drift.
A praying female figure on a lintel at Wat Speu in Chamkar Leu district

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