More than 100 pieces of ancient Buddha statues, some of which are broken, have been unearthed during the restoration of the ageing main statue inside the main sermon hall at the Phra Narai Maha Rat Temple in Nakhon Ratchasima.
Nakhon Ratchasima Vice Mayor Bamrung Charoenpoj and the head of the municipality council, Thanakom Vimolwatvatee, on Wednesday inspected the ancient items along with archaeologists and Fine Arts Department staff.
“The municipality already contacted the Office of Traditional Arts in the area to look into what we discovered for verification. Initially, we learned that the Buddha statues date back to the Dvaravati era, or the ancient Khmer era, which was over 1,000 years ago.
“We expect there could be as many as 1,000 more statues of various eras beneath the main one. We believe people put the statues under the base of the main statue when King Narai built the temple 361 years ago.
“We’re now consulting with the temple to set up a museum to display some of what we found to illustrate the history of the temple from the past until now,” Thanakom said.