Cautiously draining Ayutthaya

Authorities are cautiously draining some of the flooded monuments in Ayutthaya for fears that the waters have loosened the soil foundations of some of the structures.

Ruins of Ayutthaya, Bangkok Post 20111127

Still standing … but for how long?
Bangkok Post, 27 November 2011

Ayutthaya’s historical sites have withstood centuries of flooding, but the latest deluge may have delivered a fatal blow to some of the ancient capital’s World Heritage-protected sites.

Damage to the buildings was compounded by the floodwater both surrounding the sites too quickly, and then being released too rapidly.

Fine Arts Department civil engineer Therdsak Yenjura says the structures have brick bases resting on soil without proper foundations. When the soil is soaked, the walls of the structures subside and lean in on each other. Uneven weight distribution of the structures increases pressure points.

Full story here.


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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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