Angkor Excavation Team Find a Medicine Buddha

The team excavating an 800-year-old site in Angkor Archaeological Park on Monday made a second major find in just two weeks, unearthing for the first time in Cambodia a Medicine Buddha statue that is believed to have stood in the chapel of one of the 102 hospitals built by King Jayavarman VII.

“This truly is a find,” said Tan Boun Suy, deputy director-general of Apsara Authority, which manages Angkor Park in Siem Reap province and is conducting the excavation.

A portion of a Medicine Buddha statue was found in Siem Reap on Monday. (Im Sokrithy)

The sandstone statue was unearthed on the site of a hospital that stood at the northern entrance of the king’s walled city.

Excavation work continues today.

It was not found whole, said archaeologist Im Sokrithy, the dig’s scientific supervisor.

“We identified him because of an object in the palm of his hand…whose form is similar to a very small pyramid,” he said.

“With this discovery, we have finally proven that Buddhist medicine was practiced during the reign of Jayavarman VII under the blessing of the Medicine Buddha,” said Dr. Rethy Chhem, an authority on Angkorian hospitals and medicine.

On July 29, the same excavation team found a 1.9 meter guard statue at the site.

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