Eight antique cannons and a large amount of ammunition have been discovered buried in the grounds of the National Museum in Phra Nakhon district of Bangkok.
Fine Arts Department director-general Anek Sihamat said yesterday the cannons, made of bronze and iron, came in different sizes.
The weapons were between 75 centimetres and 100cm in length and between 10cm and 15cm in diameter, he said.
The cannons, some of which were believed to have been mounted on the backs of elephants, were probably imported from the West and other countries in Asia about 500 years ago, Mr Anek said.
The cannons were discovered on Tuesday by a research and development team of the department's Archaeology Office while it was working on a project to preserve and develop Bowon Sathan Mongkhon Palace, or Wang Na Palace.
As part of the project, the team had hired a private company to dig in the northwestern wing of a lawn next to the Phutthaisawan Throne Hall which is situated in the grounds of the National Museum.
Some of the cannons have now been registered as items of national antiquity. They will be displayed at the National Museum, Mr Anek said.