CHIANG RAI – Ancient pottery and the large head of a Buddha statue have been found buried near a community weir (Dam) in Muang district of Chiang Rai Province.
Sompet Supamanee, 64, former chairman of the weir construction committee, said the city municipality recently sent workers to repair the weir and a backhoe uncovered red bricks in lumps of earth dug from the area.
Residents from the Village helped city workers remove the earth, revealing the large head of a Buddha statue. Further excavations uncovered a large quantity of old pottery. Although many of the items were broken, some were still in good condition to the delight of the local people.
The tambon municipality advised the department of fine arts and other agencies of the find, so they could send experts to examine it.
Mr Somdet said the Buddha head was believed to be several hundred years old. There may have been an ancient stupa in the area. However, no one was aware there were such antiquities in the ground in the area of the weir.
The residents of nearby Ban Pa Tueng in tambon Pa Or Donchai on Tuesday held a bai sri ceremony to bless and welcome the Buddha head.
Weirs are commonly used to prevent flooding, measure discharge and help render rivers navigable. In some locations the terms dam and weir are synonymous, but normally there is a clear distinction made between the structures.
(Photo taken from Ittipon Chaiwong Facebook page)