Rock art research in Southeast Asia is an up-and-coming field. There were recently reports of several new rock art sites discovered* in Cambodia and I had a chance to visit one of them with some friends/colleagues.
Above: The view from the top of Phnom Kulen. More info/photos after the jump.
*Many local villagers apparently knew about these sites for awhile, but they’ve only recently been reported to archaeologists.
All of the new rock art sites are fairly remote, the one I visited was near Phnom Kulen and involved some fairly strenuous climbing and hiking. Like many rock art sites, determining exactly what the drawings were of was sometimes difficult.
Below: An overview of the small rock shelter with the rock paintings on the face. They paintings are in red, several of them are fairly water damaged.
And a few close-ups of some of the images….
Below: The bottom-half of a cow (?), a fish and something else, any ideas?
Below: The head of a dog?
Below: There were a few paintings in a slightly darker red color. This one appears to be a person.
Below: In the middle were several large overlapping animal images
Below: My Cambodian colleagues check out some of the paintings underneath the overhang. They were in pretty poor condition.
I’m glad my Cambodian colleagues have found out about these sites and I’m looking forward to hearing about future research. The big question is how old are they? I’ve heard rumors they are “prehistoric.” Perhaps Noel can shed some light on that when he hopefully visits these sites next year!