Chantaburi monk’s vision leads Lopburi residents to ancient artifacts

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A Chantaburi monk who claimed to have a vision of an ancient city in the hills of central Thailand’s Lopburi Province was proven at least partially correct when officials there uncovered additional artifacts near the site of other well-known excavations.

Basanyasee Phikhu of the Jantharam Dhamma monastery told visitors July 8 he had seen, during mediation, a vision of an ancient city near Khao Rak and Khao Jua in Lopburi’s Phattana Nikhom District. At the invitation of district residents, the monk joined a scouting party to determine if his story could be true.

Some of the artifacts found at the site.Some of the artifacts found at the site.

It wasn’t much of a stretch to believe it was. Phattana Nikhom has been an active site for archeological excavation since 2006 when 144 Silpakorn University students unearthed a bronze cowbell, curved blade, axe, marbles and human bones. The find was in line with the history of Lopburi, which was once the route to Kab Champa, the area with rich resources such as steel, bronze, cement and stones.

The entire district has since been developed as an archeological attraction for tourists.

Stone monuments mark what some believe is part of an ancient city.Stone monuments mark what some believe is part of an ancient city.

Nonetheless, the monk was excited, as were residents who found scattered rocks, marble mortars and pestles and a large stone with drawings on it.

Suthat Mathurawongsadit, head of Phraya Dern Thong village in Phattana Nikhom called the find a sign of good fortune, saying there long have been rumors of a city having been located in the hills and the superstitious believed the site was haunted by bad spirits who guarded any artifacts that may have been there.

Monk Basanyasee Phikhu of the Jantharam Dhamma monastery points to another find.Monk Basanyasee Phikhu of the Jantharam Dhamma monastery points to another find.

The mayor said she would speak to the provincial governor to seek protection for the site.

Resident Khwanmuang Kaewkhonkaen, 62, said the so-called find was not new, as others had found bowls and jars there before. However, she said, tragedy befell those who did, keeping most people away from the area.