By Eleven Media Group
A team of experts from Thailand last week started excavating the tomb of an ancient Siamese king in central Myanmar in cooperation with Myanmar archaeologists.
The tomb in a graveyard on Linzhin Hill in Mandalay’s Amarapura township is believed to be the resting place of King Uthumpon, the 32nd monarch of the Ayutthaya Kingdom, who ruled in the 16th century.
“We will first make an excavation to study the tomb of the Thai king. We plan to excavate without harming the original structure,” said Mickey Heart, an expert on the Thai excavation team.
They will use metal frames to protect the tomb’s structure as they dig, a method used during the excavation of other sites from the Ayutthaya kingdom, Heart said.
But the king’s relics would not be returned to Thailand, he said. After confirmation that the burial site is the king’s, Thailand and Myanmar will turn Linzhin Hill graveyard into a park for Thai visitors.
Last September, a group from Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs visited the burial site.
Uthumpon was taken as a prisoner of war by King Hsinbyushin, the third king of Myanmar’s Konbaung Dynasty, after an invasion of the ancient Thai capital in 1767.
Uthumpon died in Amarapura after living there as a monk for 29 years, a period that encompassed the reign of four kings. Although a prisoner of war, he was allowed to travel independently while living in Myanmar. After his death, King Bodawpaya held a grand funeral
for Uthumpon at Linzhin Hill graveyard.