Did the Welsh discover America?



A team of historians and researchers announced today that Radio Carbon dating evidence, and the discovery of ancient British style artefacts and inscriptions in the American Midwest, provide the strongest indications yet" that British explorers, under the Prince Madoc ap Meurig, arrived in the country during the 6th Century and set up colonies there.


Research team members have known the location of burial sites of Madoc's close relatives in Wales for some time, it emerged today; but they have decided to break their self-imposed silence in order that their research be fully known and understood. DNA evidence could provide vital new leads, they say.


"We have a mass of remarkable evidence," said British historian Alan Wilson, who has been working with Jim Michael of the Ancient Kentucke Historical Association since 1989. "As experts in ancient British history, we were approached by Jim and visited locations in the Mid West with him," he added.


Many of the grave mounds found in the American mid West, including those at Bat Creek, Tennessee, are ancient British in origin and design, Wilson said. Jim Michael added, "the stone tablet found at Bat Creek in 1889 included an inscription written in Coelbren, an ancient British alphabet known and recorded by historians and bards down the ages."


Wilson said that his research had brought him into contact with very similar alphabet inscriptions in Britain, Europe and the Middle East. "The components of the alphabet derive from the earliest days of the Khumric (Welsh) people," he added, "and were used along their migration routes to Wales in antiquity."


Wilson's research partner, Baram A. Blackett, said, "once we discovered the cipher for the alphabet in recorded in texts dating to the 1500s we knew we were in business. We have translated many of these inscriptions and they all make perfect sense." Jim Michael commented that the final translation for the Bat Creek tablet was an exciting task, "especially when we knew it read, 'Madoc the ruler he is'."


Some historians have written off the evidence for Prince Madoc, the Welsh Prince who sailed to America circa 562 (AD). "They often give a false date of 1170 and this legend has replaced the facts," added Wilson. "At the moment, there is a small group of wreckers trying to steal our research and to promote this misdating. Luckily, we've done all the groundwork and have a substantial body of evidence in our favour."


"In Britain and America the academics have been slow to respond," said Jim Michael. "There is a theory that there was no European settlement here before Columbus, despite the evidence, but this is for political and theoretical reasons." In the UK, public bodies had, "failed to engage with this vital research effort," added Alan Wilson. "I think they're afraid that an independent group such as ours has made such progress. They prefer to ignore and neglect ancient British history rather than to deal with it. The Welsh people have suffered, and the opportunity to boost the economy, to bring thousands of jobs to Glamorgan and Gwent, where Madoc and his brother Arthur ll ruled, has not been exploited."


Public bodies in the US and UK must now start to actively pursue this new evidence, they say.


DNA profiling could help identify the human remains found at Bat Creek. "It could well be Madoc himself," said Blackett. "After all, the inscription was found right next to the bones, which are currently housed at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC."


Wilson, Blackett and their research team know the location of Madoc's close relatives and have made significant archaeological finds at sites nearby. "So we can use Welsh DNA evidence from the graves here, and compare it with the bone fragments in the Smithsonian," he said. "This would be of massive historical value." It is estimated that up to 20,000 jobs and hundreds of millions in tourism could be an immediate benefit in South Wales, claimed the men.


"In the American Mid West the results could be very similar," added Jim Michael.


Wilson, Blackett, and Jim Michael made the identification of the Bat Creek main tumulus as the likely tomb of Prince Madoc, in January 1990. Michael has been in contact with the Smithsonian with a view to its allowing the bone fragments to be DNA tested.


There are numerous ancient British Coelbren inscriptions in the American mid West.


Skulls found in some US grave mounds are of European-Caucasian origin; they do not include an Inca bone.


There was only one Prince Madoc. He was the brother of King Arthur ll and lived during the 6th Century. This is not in doubt. Ancient British manuscripts and genealogies tell us this.


Alan Wilson and Baram Blackett have been investigating the true history of King Arthur and the Khumric-Welsh dynasty for a total of nearly 70 years. Wilson’s interest began in 1956 and Blackett joined him in 1976, when the Arthurian Research Foundation of Great Britain was started.


They have written the best-selling The Holy Kingdom (Bantam, 1999) with Adrian Gilbert and self-published underground classics including Arthur, King of Glamorgan and Gwent, Artorius Rex Discovered, Arthur and the Charters of the Kings and Arthur, The War King (a historical novel).


The men have lectured extensively in the UK, including Manchester and Jesus Colleges at Oxford University, and Alan Wilson gave the prestigious Bemis Lecture in Boston in 1993. Wilson and Blackett were also commissioned to produce a detailed genealogy of the Bush family by former President George Bush (senior).



Archaeologists Probe Hudson's Bay

Monday August 26, 2002 1:30 PM



Jeff Isaak plunged his fingers into dirt where a humble homesite stood 150 years ago, plucked out a piece of ceramic the size of an aspirin and handed it to archaeologist Doug Wilson.


``Staffordshire transfer print, blue and white,'' Wilson said at a glance, referring to a British china pattern.


That was fancy stuff for the village of the working poor that supported the once-mighty Hudson's Bay Co. at Fort Vancouver. The trade company served as a safe haven for travelers who journeyed through Indian territory in the developing Northwest in the early and mid 1800s.


What the Staffordshire and other signs of relative affluence were doing under the dirt-floor homes of dirt-poor workers nobody is sure. Little is known of the village and the people who worked and lived there.


But with paintbrushes and trowels, student archaeologists scraped away this summer at the village, the underbelly of the Hudson's Bay operation.


The farmers, laborers, woodcutters, coopers, bakers and blacksmiths didn't leave much because they didn't have much. But from the trade rings and clay pipestems, bits of ceramics, knives, beads and bones, their lives have begun to emerge.


The five-week project was run jointly by Portland State University and the National Park Service and will be resumed next summer. The dig is located outside the walls of the fort, which was restored on its original site in 1966.

From its founding in 1825 until about 1860, the fort supplied food, tools and other supplies to fur trappers and its own 20 or so outposts throughout the Northwest.

It was put there by the British to cement their disputed claim to the Oregon country, to squeeze Americans out and keep peace with the Indians.

The company's main business, however, was furs, which it bought in immense quantities and shipped to England for the hat trade.


Much to England's displeasure, weary pioneers at the end of the Oregon Trail didn't get the cold shoulder from the man who ran Fort Vancouver, Dr. John McLoughlin. They got food, tools, credit and other aid that allowed them to counter the British presence with their own.


When the Northwest went to the United States in 1846, the Canadian-born physician moved to Oregon City, became an American citizen and is known today as the ``Father of Oregon.''


The fort and its support base were the beginning of agriculture, lumbering and fishing in the Northwest.


``Missionaries called it 'the New York of the West' where you could buy European goods in the wilderness,'' said Wilson, in charge of archaeology at the Vancouver National Historic Reserve. ``The reports got people jazzed about coming West.''

Hudson's Bay officers and clerks lived in relative comfort within the fort.

But the food, lumber, blacksmithing and other necessities that fueled the company's empire had to come from somewhere. An order sent home to England wouldn't arrive for two to three years.


Enter the ``engages,'' who may have numbered 600 to 1,000 and lived a cruder life in simple huts outside the fort walls. It is their village that is drawing the attention of archaeologists bent on finding out who these people were and what their lives were like.


``There were French Canadians, Hawaiians, Indians, Russians, Scots and English, and they all seemed to live in relative harmony here,'' said Wilson. ``Most were illiterate, so they didn't write anything. All we know was written by the people in the fort, and by the missionaries, and it's a pretty biased view, an imperfect view of the village.''


A Hawaiian laborer got 10 pounds a year, other common workers got 17 pounds. Skilled engages did a little better. McLoughlin, the ``chief factor,'' might have expected 600 to 800 pounds if the company had a good year.


But low wages aside, excavators found signs of unexplained affluence.

Isaak said 98 percent of the china they are finding is Spode, the supplier to the royal family and a Hudson's Bay monopoly at the time.


``It's interesting to find china like what was on the chief factor's table, where the gentlemen ate, out here in the village,'' Wilson said.


One answer, he said, is that as things wore out in the fort they were recycled down to the villagers. Or, the engages, some of whom lived in the village for many years, may have gotten desperate for something special, regardless of cost.

``We're finding shagreen enamel designs,'' said Shingo Hamada, a student patiently probing the homesite. ``It was expensive. They had been finding that only inside the fort. The question is, why are we finding it in the houses? Hudson's Bay laborers lived here.''


Bits of Chinese porcelain also showed up. ``Chinese porcelain isn't supposed to be here,'' said Isaak. ``That's East India Co.''


Stone flakes also have turned up, a sign that the Indian women many of the engages married retained their native ways.


A laboratory at the fort analyzes and catalogues what is found, from bones - to determine what people ate - to tiny beads the size of a seed to bits of glass and ceramics. A small display in the laboratory includes a dime and a quarter from the 1830s that were perforated, apparently for use in a necklace.


The seemingly endless bits of pipe stems confirmed a popular pastime.

``Smoking was THE thing to do,'' said park guide Edward Reidell, who also directs some archaeological projects. ``Men, women, kids, they all smoked. The Hudson's Bay Co. brought in 12 tons of tobacco a year.''


The company stayed at the fort for a few years after the Northwest went to the United States in 1846, but withdrew to Canada as the U.S. Army moved in. The Army moved off the villagers. Decay and fire destroyed what was left of the village by 1866.


However, the site continues to yield clues to the hazy histories of the village residents. The village area and the fort site have given up more than 1.5 million artifacts since explorations started in 1948.


Plans next summer call for the use of contemporary drawings and archaeological evidence to reconstruct a couple of the villagers' houses, which commonly measured 20-feet-by-20-feet and often were smaller.


``The village was an amazing place,'' Wilson said. ``It is the premiere archaeological site in the Pacific Northwest, and it's important that the story not be lost.''


August 27, 2002


City find is Knights Templars' oldest London church



REMAINS of London’s first Temple Church have recently been uncovered, several hundred yards north of its famous successor. Part of the distinctive circular nave which marked churches built by the Knights Templar in the Middle Ages was identified just south of High Holborn, on the edge of the medieval city of London.


The present Temple Church, which gives its name to the Middle Temple and Inner Temple, two of the four Inns of Court, was built from 1160 onwards. Its circular nave, reflecting the plan of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, was consecrated by Patriarch Heraclius of Jerusalem in 1185 as the central church of the Templar Order in England; seriously damaged by bombing in the Second World War, it has been completely restored.


The earlier church and the “Old Temple”, the initial headquarters of the Order, stood just east of Chancery Lane, where Southampton Buildings recently underwent refurbishment. Archaeologists from the Museum of London watched over the site when a new lift- shaft was installed.


At the base of the excavation they found Roman deposits, cut into by what Alison Telfer describes in London Archaeologist as “a substantial medieval chalk foundation, consistent with the location and design of the circular ‘Old Temple’ of the Knights Templar, dating to the 12th century”. The foundations rested on the natural gravel of the Thames terrace that underlies the City, and match other sections seen in 1704, and in 1876, when a bank was built in Holborn just north of the present site.


Reconstruction of the plan from the foundations suggests that the circular nave had an internal diameter of about 55ft — slightly smaller than the present Temple Church. The roof would have been supported by a central colonnade of six columns, recorded in the 1876 work, as in the present building, and Telfer suggests that there was both a western porch for entry and an eastern chancel as long again as the nave. The square chancel of the Temple Church was added in 1220-40.


The Old Temple was sold to the Bishop of Lincoln when its successor was built closer to the Thames and with direct river access, and he used it as his London residence. It was eventually demolished in 1595.

Apart from the recent discovery, further remains could survive in the surrounding area, Telfer suggests: the bedrock is sufficiently deeply buried for them probably to have avoided destruction by Victorian cellarage.


Robot tomb raider to investigate pyramid puzzle

13:57 27 August 02

NewScientist.com news service


A robotic probe is set to explore a mysterious region of the Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt.


On September 17, the Pyramid Rover will crawl 64 metres along a 20 cm2 shaft, which leads up from a compartment known as the Queen's Chamber to a stone obstruction.


The stone was discovered in 1872. It is fitted with copper handles and is 15.5 metres from the outer edge of the pyramid. Archaeologists have speculated that this space could contain a hidden chamber.


Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities and researchers at the Giza Plateau Mapping Project at Chicago University have collaborated on the new rover.

Their robot is fitted with ground-penetrating radar, which the team hopes will provide them with a first glimpse of what lies beyond the stone plug. The robot will also attempt to pass fibre optic cables through any cracks, to capture live images from behind the seal.


A force gague will test whether the seal moves at all and ultrasound will be used to measure the thickness of the stone.


The Great Pyramid was built 4,500 years ago to house the remains of the Pharaoh Khufu. Located on a plateau to the west of Cairo, it is 145 metres tall, and the largest pyramid ever constructed.


Some Egyptologists believe the curious shaft may have been designed for religious or numerological reasons. It appears to be aligned with the star Sirius and the constellation Orion.


Explaining the presence of the seal is more difficult. It is made limestone from the Muqattam Hills, outside of Cairo. This particular limestone is normally used only to block central chambers.


Will Knight



This story is from NewScientist.com's news service - for more exclusive news and expert analysis every week subscribe to New Scientist print edition.


Romans went to war on diet of pizza, dig shows

John Innes


ROMAN soldiers went to war on egg and pizza according to archaeological analysis of Roman army toilets in Scotland.


Scientists also have discovered that the soldiers also appear to have gone to the lavatory in pairs.


Further analysis of the 2,000-year old remains of the legionnaires’ breakfasts may produce more clues to the diet and eating habits of the troops led by Gnaeus Agricola. They forced their way to the north of Scotland and victory over Caledonian tribesmen at the battle of Mons Graupius in 84 AD.


But archaeologists still puzzle over why the 15 latrines unearthed in a dig at Kintore, Aberdeenshire - 15 miles from the site of the battle - were dug in pairs. Theories range from a Roman liking for military symmetry to the suggestion that they simply enjoyed a good conversation.


Apart from the latrines, which revealed traces of defecated egg, the dig has revealed 120 individual bread ovens, the largest number ever found on one site in Britain.


The keyhole-shaped ovens lined with stone at one end are early versions of a pizza oven. Stone-lined pits were heated up, the ash raked out and a raw dough, probably mixed with any available vegetable, baked.


Mystery of seabed resolved with 2,000-year old ship's discovery


 Marciana Marina, Italy, Aug 24, IRNA -- A mystery which has baffled generations of local fishermen on the Tuscan island of Elba was finally resolved this week, when a 2,000-year old perfectly preserved Roman shipwreck was discovered on the seabed.


 For years fishermen complained that their nets snagged in an area of the sea which, according to nautical maps, had a smooth, muddy base, wrote ANSA's Karma Hickman from Marciana Marina, on Friday.


 Likewise the patch of water off the northwestern coastal village of Marciana Marina teemed with fish such as lobsters and crabs which can normally only be found in rocky areas.

 Familiar with the legend, two Elban locals, environmentalist Gian Lorenzo Anselmi, and an expert of ancient ships Sergio Spina, finally decided resolve the conundrum once and for all, and sent a two-man scubadiving team down to explore the area properly.


 At 64 meters (210ft) down, divers Marco Agnoloni and Popi Adriani, uncovered the first signs of the wreck, a series of massive containers known as dolium.


 "This is a truly sensational discovery," Anselmi told ANSA today, "as it's the first time ever that this number of perfectly intact doliums has been discovered in the Mediterranean".


 Agnoloni and Adriani, both underwater archeology experts, returned to the surface with reels of film showing the nine, perfectly preserved ceramic containers, half covered by mud.


 The size of the doliums - around two meters high and five meters in diameter - has led experts to put the length of the boat at around 22 meters.

 It also convinced them that the wreck dates back to some time during the first Roman empire.


 Significantly, the positioning of the dolium suggests that the still-hidden ship is perfectly preserved beneath the mud.


 Furthermore, the depth of the ship means it has probably not been disturbed by wreck-robbers in search of items to sell on the international black market - a common problem for Italy's archaeological heritage.


 "This is the first time a complete, inviolate wreck has been found," Michelangelo Zecchini, an archaeologist who works for the Forum UNESCO commented. "However in itself just the number of containers and their superb condition makes this a truly astounding discovery".


 The ship is currently under a meter of lime, but once excavation work starts, experts are hoping it will prove a gold mine of information.


 The boat, which was probably transporting grain, will provide valuable details on the layout and cargo of naves onerariae, or cargo boats.


 This in turn will help historians understand Mediterranean shipping routes of the time in greater detail.


 However the team is in no rush to bring the wreck to the surface.


 Anselmi, who heads the local branch of environmental group Legambiente, explained, "with the advanced state of technology today, the ship can be thoroughly uncovered and detailed research carried out underwater.


 "We want to discover as much as we can, disturbing the wreck as little as possible".


 He admitted however that with the discovery of the ship, the site could become a possible target for wreck robbers, and together with pina, is pushing for video cameras to be installed.


 Marciana Marina Mayor Giovanni Martini is in favor of the proposal, which would allow for round-the-clock surveillance of the site, but said "the final decision rests with the regional council's archeology department and the Culture Ministry".


 If the plan is approved, Anselmi hopes the video cameras will play a double role.

 "Ideally, we hope to link them up with an on-line website, which would transmit footage of the boat 24 hours a day," he explained.  "This will give people from around the world the chance to admire the wreck in its 'natural' setting".




Archaeologists to unearth ancient Egyptian city

(August 26,2002 ) (Agencies)


In a squalid suburb of northeast Cairo, a red granite obelisk towering above ramshackle homes is the last visible vestige of a nearly 7,000-year-old city where ancient Egyptians believed life began.


Archaeologists say they soon expect to unearth other artefacts and unlock the secrets of the sun-cult city of On buried beneath today's suburbs of Ain Shams, which means "eye of the sun" in Arabic, and the adjacent area of Matariya.

"It's a matter of a few months and the Supreme Council of Antiquities will be awarded a plot of former prison farmland in west Ain Shams, where the temples of On were located," said Mohamed Abdel Geleel, Cairo antiquities inspector.

Archaeologists hope the 226,800 sq metre (2.44 million square feet) plot -- the largest designated for excavation in the area to date -- will boast extensive remains of temples and libraries of philosophy, astronomy and mathematics said to have been frequented by scholars such as Aristotle, Plato and Pythagoras.

According to the oldest ancient Egyptian religious beliefs, the dusty suburb stands on the site where life itself started. Historians suggest the site probably dates back 7,000 years.


"The temples would tell us the role of Heliopolis (city of the sun), as the Greeks named it, its position during the different dynasties and the kings who left their marks there," said Tarek Sayid Tawfik, assistant lecturer of archaeology at Cairo University.


Tawfik said temples, which Egyptologists believe are buried beneath western Ain Shams, record the times of several dynasties and give a fuller picture of On than tombs uncovered in eastern Ain Shams and which depict only the life of a single owner.



It's not always easy for excavators to dig amid shantytowns for fear their hoes would undermine the rickety houses and shops, which are occupied by the city's poor descendants.


Excavators rely on an Egyptian law that requires antiquities inspectors to survey all private land for potential artefacts before construction starts. The law has placed the inhabitants of Matariya and Ain Shams on a perpetual collision course with the antiquities council.


Hassan Aboul Fetouh said he had to suspend plans to build a family house on his land after inspectors found four Pharaonic tombs underneath his plot in November.


"I'm very concerned about preserving Egypt's antiquities and I like to do things legally. But it's been a long time now since inspectors found the tombs and look where I'm still at," Fetouh remarked bitterly.


He said he didn't regret informing the council of his plans, but he added that the wait and hassle he has faced from the government has driven many of his neighbours to risk punishment by ignoring the law and building without permits.



The antiquities council is planning to relocate the tombs found on Fetouh's land to a nearby 10,000 square metre (107,600 square feet) expanse in Matariya, which the council seized in the late 1980s from the Lawyers' Syndicate after the discovery of a tomb.


Since then, excavation work there has uncovered several treasures, which are either being restored, such as the tomb of a 26th dynasty (664-525 B.C) priest, or being demolished if found in a state beyond repair, such as the mud-brick remains of another tomb.


Standing amid the uneven sandy terrain dotted with cracked sarcophagi and a trail of jutting stones, Mohsen Ismail, the land's site inspector, explained the future of the area.


"The land still needs to be fully excavated and explored and some artefacts stored in warehouses need to be relocated here, before the entire area is launched as an open-air museum," he said.



Troublesome as it may be for the residents, archaeologists have not been dissuaded from continuing their quest in an area that was home to some of Egypt's most spectacular finds.


"Cleopatra's needles, the two Obelisks that lie on the London embankment and in Central Park in New York city, had been erected in On during the 18th dynasty (1539-1295 B.C.) and taken to Alexandria during the Greco-Roman period," said Cairo-based Egyptologist Edwin Brok.


Other famous fortunes include Miriam's tree, the place where according to a Christian tradition, Jesus's mother Mary rested on her way from Israel to Egypt.

For years, urbanisation confined archaeological digs to relatively small areas in Ain Shams and Matariya, producing only fragments of temples or tombs that gave an incomplete account of the city's former glory as the spiritual capital of ancient Egypt.


Archaeologists now say that the current work in east Ain Shams and the promise of future projects in the west of the suburb, would help draw the complete picture of On's past while respecting the city's present.


A cluster of richly furnished ancient graves dating to Mycenaean times has been discovered on the southern outskirts of Athens close to a settlement of the same period, a report said yesterday.


According to the Ethnos daily, archaeologists conducting a rescue excavation in Vari have located 26 graves so far, which date from the 15th to the 12th centuries BC. This spans most of the Mycenaean era, the best-known remains of which are the citadels of Mycenae and Tiryns, and the Palace of Pylos in the Peloponnese.


Over 100 vases have been recovered, along with terracotta figurines, copper knives, seals, gold beads and steatite pendants. They had been laid in 24 chamber graves — up to three meters wide with approaches up to 4 meters long — and two shaft graves, of the same type as the royal burials in Mycenae. The settlement was 300 meters away.


Ancient amphoras unearthed


Yugoslavia - Three amphoras dating to the first century BC were found at the Adriatic sea off the Montenegro coast, local media reported on Monday.

The amphoras, in an excellent state despite their age, were found near the village Risan, in the Boka Kotorska bay, during the excavations led by the Kotor museum and the Belgrade-based Bureau for protection of monuments, the daily Vijesti reported.


The waters of Boka Kotorska bay, as well as the Montenegrin part of the Adriatic sea, have yet to be fully surveyed for archaeological remains. - Sapa/AFP


16th century treasure shipwreck found off Vietnam

An operation to salvage treasures estimated to be worth five million US dollars from a shipwreck discovered off the southern coast of Vietnam, will begin later this month.


Authorities in Binh Thuan province, northeast of Ho Chi Minh City, are unsure of the ship's origin or when it sank but believe the wreck contains around 50-thousand objects dating back to the 16th century.


Police have so far confiscated some one-thousand objects looted by local fishermen who found the vessel lying 40-metres under water.


The central government will assume ownership rights over the ship and its artifacts, but some will be auctioned off, with the state receiving 30-percent of the profits.


Unearthed, the prince of Stonehenge

By Roger Highfield

(Filed: 21/08/2002)


A prehistoric prince with gold ear-rings has been found near Stonehenge a few yards away from the richest early Bronze Age burial in Britain.


Earlier this year, archaeologists found an aristocratic warrior, also with gold ear-rings, on Salisbury Plain and speculated that he may have been an ancient king of Stonehenge.


The body was laid to rest 4,300 years ago during the construction of the monument, along with stone arrow heads and slate wristguards that protected the arm from the recoil of the bow. Archaeologists named him the Amesbury Archer.


Now they have found another skeleton from the same period five yards away. The remains are those of a man, aged 25 to 30, buried in the same posture, on his left side with his face to the north, and legs bent.


His grave was bare, containing only the sharpened tusk of a boar, but contained the basket shaped ear-rings. The man may have been the archer's son, the prince of Stonehenge, said Dr Andrew Fitzpatrick, who led the dig by Wessex Archaeology.


DNA testing on their teeth will be carried out to find out if the two bodies are part of the same royal family.


Around 100 artefacts were found in the archer's grave -10 times as many as at graves from a similar period elsewhere in Britain.


The grave is dated to about 2300BC - around the time at which Stonehenge's inner circle of bluestones was being hauled from the Preseli mountains in South Wales.


The king, who was 5ft 9ins tall, lacked a left kneecap, suggesting he had suffered a serious injury. He was aged 35 to 50 when he died, when he was placed in a timber chamber about three miles from Stonehenge.


A valuation committee must now put a figure on the finds after David Masters, the Wiltshire coroner, declared the discoveries treasure.


The British Museum and the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum have both expressed an interest in providing the archer's final resting place.


John and Sylvia Savidge, who own Red House Farm where the burial chambers were unearthed, may receive a cash reward once the treasure has been valued.


Ancient Statues Unearthed in Cambodia

By Associated Press

August 27, 2002, 9:38 PM EDT

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia


Clerics clearing land adjacent to a temple in northern Cambodia have discovered 31 tiny statues of Buddha, residents said Tuesday. The ancient figures were made of gold, silver and brass.


The discovery was made Saturday near the Po Pich temple that's being rebuilt in the rural Baray district in Kampong Thom province, some 60 miles north of Phnom Penh.


The recovered Buddhas are well-preserved, said Khun Sytha, a human rights worker who visited the temple to view the relics.


"They are in good condition, maybe the size of a thumb or toe, and with a pretty golden brown color," she said.


Authorities do not know the source or age of the statues.