Both relics have been declared objects of national heritage, Komart Pankeard, Chief of the Phuket office of the Ministry of Culture, told The Phuket News today (May 24).
The area where both artefacts were discovered (see story here) is now under the protection of the Royal Thai Navy, he said.
The cannon and its base remain half-buried in sand in a bay off the north end of Koh Racha Noi, Mr Komart confirmed.
“The cannon and its base remain about 20 to 30 metres from shore, resting on the seabed at a depth of only about three metres. At low tide, the cannon and base are covered by only about half a metre of water,” he explained
“The Royal Thai Navy will seal off the site by installing buoys to make sure boats and people do not enter the area,” Mr Komart explained.
“Experts from the Fine Arts Department will inspect the cannon and the base and record their observations, and search the area for more aretfacts of historical value,” he said.
“Once that information has been recorded and the search of the area have been completed, we will arrange for both the cannon and the base to be safely recovered. That will likely happen at the beginning of next year,” he added.
Mr Komart noted that the cannon is about 100cm long with a diameter of about 20cm.
The “gun base” slab, still half buried in the sand on the sea floor, measures 155cm by 126cm across the top, and is about 70cm thick, he added.
Mr Komart said that his officers believe that the cannon and its base were somehow from a boat, but he declined to speculate further on how the cannon and the platform came to be resting on the bay floor.
The cannon is same the size and dimensions as another cannon that was installed as an object of national historical value in front of Ranong Provincial Court in 1983, Mr Komart noted.
“That cannon has been confirmed as from the Rattanakosin period,” he said.
“If the cannon [at Racaha Noi] is from that period, such cannons were used in Burmese-Siamese War (1775-1776), which was a major military conflict between the Konbaung Dynasty of Burma and Kingdom of Siam,” he added.
“After the cannon and the base has been inspected thoroughly by experts, both ojects will be cleaned and restored, and then will go on display at the Thalang National Museum,” Mr Komart said.