Enhanced conservation plan proposed for Hanlin, recognized as key cultural heritage site in Myanmar

photo 2024 06 01 17 05 42
Large sculpture unearthed during excavation of Hanlin palace city wall and Hanlin research team.

The ancient Pyu city of Hanlin, which is a World Heritage Site as well as an essential cultural link for Myanmar, should be preserved with a higher standard plan, U Kyaw Myo Win, director of the Department of Archaeology and National Museum (Bagan Branch), suggested on his Facebook page.
Hanlin, along with Beikthano and Sriksetra, was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List on 22 June 2014. Subsequent research revealed that the city wall of Hanlin, previously thought to be rectangular, was actually square, and the map had to be redrawn.
A vast sandstone slab found upside down was assumed to be a human face because it had Kanote (floral writing) similar to a human face, eyebrows and hairs. When a slightly swollen hill not very far away was examined with an underground magnetic scanner, a solid image was found, he said.
The Hanlin section is trying to make a temporary shelter to protect these cracked pieces of boulder and minimize the damage.

A broken sandstone leg of a human statue unearthed on either side of the gate to the palace at Beikthano’s Mound No KKG 8 is now on display at the Beikthano Museum. It is consistent with the findings at Hanlin that the site of such a giant statue could be the palace entrance. For fear of damaging any possible paintings on the underside of the statue if it is turned up hurriedly, the face-down statue found at Hanlin has been left in situ for a few years before a temporary shelter could be constructed. The rock is 11.5 feet high, five feet wide, and 1-1.5 feet thick.
“This cracked statue could be a guard image, as we guess from the fact that it is in Beikthano. But what we found at Beikthano is just a piece of leg. It is possible to unearth the complete statue of Hanlin. If we cannot do it thoroughly, it could be damaged. There may be a similar statue that is not very far from here. The Hanlin section submitted preservation plans to the director-general. We have discussed it several times in meetings. We have also made site visits. Thanks to the efforts of the researchers, we can now open this rock to the public with minimum damage. We should thank the Hanlin research team, which had to work hard every day. While other sections were working two weeks on and two weeks off, they were tirelessly trying to recover this image in its original form in the jungle,” said U Kyaw Myo Win. — MT/ZN/ED

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