Day 5 – Nicolas – Darrel

Vendredi 20 mai – Province de Kampong Thom

Le vendredi 20 mai au matin, nous avons quitté Siem Reap et pris la direction de la province de Kompong Thom pour nous rendre sur le site de Sambor Prei Kuk.

Sur la route, nous avons fait halte au musée provincial de Kompong Thom pour le visiter, mais également pour rechercher des monuments permettant d’étudier les différents types d’inscriptions et ainsi compléter nos travaux.

Parmi les très belles pièces exposées dans l’enceinte du musée se trouvent des statues de divinités et divers éléments architecturaux. Se distinguèrent notamment un linga scindé en deux, une magnifique gargouille d’époque préangkorienne (KA 168) et un Bouddha sur naga en grès recouvert de dorure datant du XVe-XVIe siècle. Entre ces œuvres se trouvent également divers objets épigraphiques. Nous avons ainsi pu voir des piédroits inscrits similaires à ceux observés sur le terrain au cours du voyage, dont un en grès (KA 64), datant de l’époque préangkorienne et présentant une inscription bilingue avec trois strophes décasyllabiques de trois lignes en sanskrit et vingt-deux lignes en khmer, mentionnant une liste d’offrande.

À cette occasion, et à des fins d’étude, nous avons rempli des bordereaux d’enregistrements des inscriptions qui nous permettront de saisir les métadonnées propres à chaque objet et de les avoir à disposition pour nos travaux ultérieurs.

Après ce bref arrêt riche d’enseignements, nous avons repris la route vers le site de Sambor Prei Kuk.

Nicolas


We visited the Sambor Prei Kuk Archaeological Site, which is located in Kampong Thom Province in central Cambodia, 30 km north of the provincial capital, Kampong Thom. Sambor Prei Kuk is located on upland near the floodplain of the Stung Sen river, which flows into Lake Tonle Sap. This site contains hundreds of Hindu temples, mostly brick, but occasionally made of sandstone. Excavations at Sambor Prei Kuk have given important insight into the history of Cambodia during the pre-Angkorean (especially) and Angkorean period, a period extending from the 6th to the 12th centuries CE. The site has three main walled temple complexes: the Prasat Sambor group to the north, in the centre, the Prasat Tao group, and to the south, the Prasat Yeai Poeun group. The south and north group contain remains from the 7th century, while the central group yields evidence of a later date. Some inscriptions from the northern group date to the 10th century. Here as elsewhere on our trip, inscriptions were most frequently found on the door jambs, often on the left jamb, becoming visible as the visitor passes beneath the lintel.

While many of the temples are still standing, they are almost all extremely weather-beaten, with prominent cracks extending throughout the building-structure. From the exterior, the temples’ elevation frequently appears to be little more than an irregular pile of bricks, but a view of the interiors provides a glimpse of the orderly brick facing that must have once been visible on the exterior as well. Small hills often surround the temples, largely composed of brick rubble from the temples’ elevations. The Daem Chrei temple was my favorite site here. It is a small chapel almost entirely consumed by a tree, whose roots are firmly entwined around the structure. The interplay of tree and building reminds me of the interplay between art and nature – in this instance, nature has defeated art, though in so doing, in my opinion, it has enhanced the temple’s aesthetic appeal; contributing to its art.

We also visited the Kampong Thom Museum in Kampong Thom, the provincial capital of Kampong Thom Province in central Cambodia. The little one room museum had a collection of lintels from the pre-Angkhorian period, wood and stone images including a gilded Buddha, and a collection of lingas (phallic symbols) ranging in form from the naturalistic to the abstract. The museum also had a variety of inscriptions in Sanskrit and Khmer script on door-jambs and steles. Here we examined the physical structure of the text-bearing objects, measuring them, inspecting the texts, and so on, trying to piece together their functions, to the extent possible. I learned that inscribed stelae often have a tenon, a tapering projection from the bottom of the slab which secures the stele in its base.

Darrel


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nsouchon (22 septembre 2017). Day 5 – Nicolas – Darrel. Visible Words - Mots à Voir. Consulté le 18 juillet 2024 à l’adresse https://doi.org/10.58079/rn1i