At 2002/3/16 afternoon, I visited Conservation D'Angkor(Angkor Conservation)
in SiemReap, Cambodia.
This public organization has collected and stored artefacts(statues, reliefs
, steles,etc) over Cambodia to prevent plundering.
At old time, "Ecole de l'ouest-est francais" managed it, but now
"APSARA AUTHORITY" does.
In advance I knew it in a fine site Cambodia Tales by Mr. Andy Brouwer. My talented guide Mr. Seng Phalkun knows Conservation d'Angkor and negociated this visit for me. It costs some, but originally its visit was restricted to VIPs in the colonial period. Mr. Keng Reach, old manager with blue cloths, guided us.
Two warehouses store many statues and steles, most broken. I'm Astonished. Especially, an headless Laksmii statue is very attractive. Pnon-Pem Museum has a entire one(Ka1689), but I feel this better.
The manager don't permit me to take pictures in warehouses, so I show images of artifacts in outyard. In the warehouse, a pretty little girl gave me two white flowers.
After the trip, Ms. Merrily Hansen gave me the scholarly commentaries, and I add them without change. She is a friend of Mr. Andy Brouwer. I acknowledge her fine contributions.
In 1963, Cambodia government lent Khmer artifacts to the Exchibition in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka. Conservation d'Angkor lent some, too.
In 1997-1998, PNON-PEM National Museum and Guimet collection was exhibited in Japan. It didn't include items from Conservation d'Angkor.
Looks like Preah Ko Style (late 9th Century)
The central figure is a Garuda who is grasping a branch of foliage in both hands. The terminal elements are nagas (probably five-headed), which appear to have tiny teeth and crowns. Because of the break in the lintel, it is impossible to tell if the nagas are resting on consoles, which would aid in the dating. Under the Garuda and branch are upturned leaves. The leaves above the branch follow the outward movement of the whole composition. The upper band of leaves is linked to a row of worshipping figures, which is part of the lintel.
My guess would be Koh Ker Style (first half of 10th Century)
The central element, placed in the top half of the lintel, is a divinity astride a Kala. The Kala is grasping a floral branch that dips slightly downward. Below the branch is a lively scene composed of figures?a hallmark of the Koh Ker style. The terminal elements are outward facing, four-footed makaras ridden by personages. It is impossible from the photo to make out what is under the makaras. There are figures on either side of the central deity. The one on the right appears to be a male; the condition of the lintel and photo makes it impossible to tell if there are other figures above the branch. A separate row of worshippers rests on the lintel. From the photo it is impossible to discern if the two pieces belong together.
Possibly Kompong Preah Style (8th Century)
This is the broken right half of what appears to be the earliest of all the lintels in this grouping. The central element consists of plant motifs; however, upon close inspection the head of a gmonsterh appears. The decoration consists of curled leaves (more typical in this style is a roll of foliage). The terminal or end element is a large leaf scroll resting on a simple undecorated console or abacus. My guess is that this lintel may have come from one of the early brick temples scattered around the West Mebon.
Possibly Khleangs Style (end of 10th to first part of 11th Century) or Baphuon Style (mid to late 11th Century)
Note: this lintel would be a lot easier to date if a Kala were present. The central element is a deity upon his mount?possibly Yama on a buffalo. The floral branch dips down, perhaps to the bottom of the lintel, but it is impossible to tell with certainty from this photo. It may be that the two central scrolls under the center element are tied together with a cord. This feature is characteristic of 10th Century lintels but does continue into the 11th Century.
Possibly Pre Rup Style (2nd half of 10th Century; has many elements that are reminiscent of earlier Preah Ko Style)
Note: It is impossible to tell for sure since the bottom of the lintel is not visible; the presence or absence of consoles would enable more accurate dating. The central element is Vishnu riding on Garuda; note the lifelike position of Vishnufs legs as he balances with his right knee up and his left leg in front of Garudafs chest. Garuda grasps the floral branch with this right hand and it appears he has slipped the branch under the crook of his left elbow and is steadying Vishnufs left leg. The branch metamorphosizes into five-headed nagas that serve as terminal motifs. Above the branch are small figures riding on curled vegetation growing out of the branch.
Preah Ko Style (late 9th Century) This absolutely is Preah Ko Style. While only the right hand of the central figure is visible, it is almost definitely a Garuda, which is grasping a branch of foliage. The end element is a five-headed naga (note the tiny teeth and the gcrownsh). The naga is resting on a console. There are upturned leaves under the roll of foliage with lotus pendants separating these scrolls of foliage. A lower band of upturned leaves serves to link the consoles or abacuses appearing under the nagas.At the side, "Bakong" was written. This very beutiful Preah Ko Style carving was impressed.