Fieldwork Opportunity: Unearthing the ancient secrets of Angkor in Cambodia

How would you like a chance in excavating Angkor Wat in 2018? Two of my friends and colleagues, Miriam Stark and Alison Carter are opening up fieldwork opportunities through the Earthwatch Institute; it is a pay-to-volunteer programme, with the proceeds used to fund the excavation.

The civilization of Angkor was long believed to have collapsed, but recent evidence suggests that the people continued living sustainably in the Angkor region after the empire collapsed and the capital moved south. What can we learn about dramatic changes that occurred in their society by studying their daily lives?

Much is known about the kings who ruled the Angkorian Empire from the 9th to 15th centuries, but far less is known about their subjects: the people who lived and worked during this time period and the following the post-Angkorian period (15-17th centuries CE), the so-called “non-elites.”

Previous archaeological work by the Greater Angkor Project suggests that these communities survived political conflicts from rival kingdoms and multiple periods of drought and flooding. We still know far more about Angkor’s rulers than about their subjects. What were their home lives like? How did they manage sustainable households under such climactic and socio-political challenges? Why did they stay after the political capital moved south?

By studying the remains of households, scientists hope to solve some of these mysteries. Join them on this novel archaeological expedition in the quest to uncover the answers to how the Khmer people endured in the face of these obstacles.

Source: Unearthing the ancient secrets of Angkor in Cambodia

Buildings to be razed next week: Apsara , National, Phnom Penh Post

via Phnom Penh Post, 13 July 2017: Cambodian authorities will take action this week on demolishing illegal constructions within the Angkor Archaeological Park, citing the potential danger to the Unesco World Heritage listing.

The director-general of the Apsara Authority and the deputy governor of Siem Reap announced yesterday that all “illegal constructions” inside the Angkor Archaeological Park will be destroyed next week, with any protests inside the park to be suppressed.

Source: Buildings to be razed next week: Apsara , National, Phnom Penh Post

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Celebrating Sambor Prei Kuk, Cambodia’s newest World Heritage Site

18 July 2017, Khmer Times and various sources: Tourism to Sambor Prei Kuk has seen a boost since it was listed as a World Heritage Site last week.

PM Hun Sen has called on international committee responsible for safeguarding Angkor Wat to extend coverage to the Sambor Prei Kuk.

Source: Tourists flock to Sambor Prei Kuk – Khmer Times

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18 Mahakan houses spared from bulldozers

via Bangkok Post, 07 July 2017: After intense discussions between the Mahakan Fort Community, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, and the army, the BMA has decided to keep 18 out of the 30 houses as a living museum. However, much less certain is the fate of the community living there.

City Hall decided Thursday that 18 out of 30 houses will be spared from demolition at the Mahakan Fort community after final negotiations with residents.

Source: 18 Mahakan houses spared from bulldozers | Bangkok Post: news

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Bayon style Buddha Statue Discovered by Farmer

via Cambodia Daily , 07 July 2017:

A Siem Reap province farmer tilling soil for a new crop found a Bayon-style sandstone statue of the Buddha that was crafted in the 12th or 13th century, an official said on Thursday.

The exhumed piece, depicting a seven-headed serpent rising over the seated Buddha, was uncovered on Wednesday in Svay Loeu district’s Kantuot commune and handed to the Apsara Authority the same day, said Long Kosal, spokesman for the authority, which is responsible for maintaining the Angkor Archaeological Park world heritage site.

Source: Ancient Buddha Statue Discovered by Farmer – The Cambodia Daily

Archaeology Dept to charge commercial photographers

via Myanmar Times, 06 July 2017:

Photographers who take photos for advertisements, calendars and pre-weddings in Bagan will have to pay K100,000 per day, U Aung Aung Kyaw, director of the Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library in Bagan, told The Myanmar Times.

Source: Archaeology Dept to charge commercial photographers

Exhibition featuring Brunei royal regalia and artefacts to celebrate friendship between Brunei and Singapore

via Straits Times, 05 July 2017:

Singapore News -SINGAPORE – An exhibition featuring the royal regalia and artefacts from Brunei, as well as stamps and currencies from Brunei and Singapore will open from Thursday (July 6) at the Singapore Philatelic Museum (SPM).. Read more at straitstimes.com.

Source: Exhibition featuring Brunei royal regalia and artefacts to celebrate friendship between Brunei and Singapore, Singapore News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

Tourism, environment bodies planning to work together

via Khmer Times, 05 July 2017: Cambodian government agencies are coordinating efforts to create more eco-tourism alternatives around Angkor.

The Ministry of Tourism yesterday agreed to create an inter-ministerial working group to promote eco-tourism.

After approval of a draft national ecotourism policy, Tourism Minister Thong Khon and Environment Minister Say Samal advised creating the group to promote the monitoring ecotourism and working with the private sector to ensure eco-tourism in accordance with the concept of “conservation development to preserve”.

“The trend of eco-tourism is developing along the lines of Eco Lodge, a container hotel, and Top Tree House, with innovative and creative technologies and ultimate technology that maintains and does not affect natural resources in forests and nature reserves,” he said,

Source: Tourism, environment bodies planning to work together | Khmer Times | News Portal Cambodia |

Special Exhibition: Celebrating 130 Years of Amity between Japan and Thailand

via Japan Times, 04 July 2017: Readers in Japan may be interested in this special exhibition at the Tokyo National Museum, celebrating 130 years of diplomatic relations between Japan and Thailand. The exhibition is on until August 27.

Miniature Elephant, Ayutthaya, Early 15th century from the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum

July 4-Aug. 27 To honor 130 years of diplomatic relations between Japan and Thailand, the Tokyo National Museum is presenting 140 artworks and treasures th

Source: ‘Special Exhibition: Celebrating 130 Years of Amity between Japan and Thailand — Thailand — Brilliant Land of the Buddha’ | The Japan Times

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Ayutthaya ruins to be promoted as night-time tourist destination

via NNT/Pattaya Times, 03 July 2017:

BANGKOK – The city of Ayutthaya has planned a special budget to install a lighting system at all its major ancient sites to attract tourists to visit at night. Director of the Ayutthaya Historical Park, Sukanya Baonert, has disclosed that a budget of more than 300 million baht has been allocated to make Thailand’s ancient […]

Source: Ayutthaya ruins to be promoted as night-time tourist destination – Pattaya Mail