Cambodia has discovered the remains of a wooden ship and pottery possibly dating back to the seventh century, local media reported on Thursday.
Cambodian naval divers discovered the remains of a sunken sail ship and a range of pottery in late February in 20-to-30-meter- deep waters off the coast of Koh Sdech island in Koh Kong province.
Samples of the pottery were taken to the provincial department of culture and then sent to the National Museum in Phnom Penh for analysis, The Cambodia Daily quoted Chuch Phoeun, secretary of state of Culture Ministry, as saying.
Chuch Phoeun said the pottery may date back to the seventh century and that it appeared similar in style to pottery of the pre-Angkorian Nokor Phnom era, in what is now southern Vietnam.
Two items also discovered on the sea floor are believed to date back from the 14th and 15th centuries, he said.
After the discovery, Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered the formation of a mixed committee of police and military to prevent the plunder of the site's artifacts, Chuch Phoeun said.
However, positively identifying the period has been hampered by the poor condition in which the pottery was found.
"They were covered with dead sea snails, shells and clams and covered with moss," said Hab Touch, deputy director of the National Museum. "We cannot see the carving in detail," he added.