[Lecture] The Invisible Paintings of Angkor Wat

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If anyone’s in Bangkok this Thursday (16 August), I’ll be giving a lecture at the Siam Society on the Invisible Paintings of Angkor Wat. I gave a similar lecture at the Asian Civilisations Museum earlier this year. The lecture begins at 7.30 pm.

In 2014, a paper published in the journal Antiquity revealed “invisible” paintings on the walls of Angkor Wat. These paintings, found throughout the temple, are mostly invisible to the naked eye. Some of the most indiscernible paintings are compositions of entire wall murals, apparently unfinished. This talk will reveal the invisible paintings of Angkor Wat, along with other historical graffiti found at the site. The post-Angkorian corpus of paintings and engravings present at the Angkor Wat illustrate a long history of occupation, reuse and conversion, shedding light on a common misconception that the temple was abandoned to the jungle before being “rediscovered” by the French and the Western world in the 18th century, and the transformation of Angkor Wat from a 12th century Hindu temple into a Buddhist stupa.

Source: The Invisible Paintings of Angkor Wat. A Talk by Noel H. Tan | The Siam Society

Virtual tour guide of Angkor Wat developed by ANU

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Image by Tokiriki, source: https://flickr.com/59722994@N00

via Canberra Times, 10 August 2018: Interview with Dougald O’Reilly on the Angkor Audio Tour app which is based on a former work, An Interactive Guide to Angkor – Dougald O’Reilly.

An ANU archaeologist has developed a new app that acts as a virtual tour guide of the ancient Angkor Wat ruins in Cambodia

Source: Virtual tour guide of Angkor Wat developed by ANU

Angkor Park guard halts religious ceremony

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Source: Phnom Penh Post, 09 August 2018

via Phnom Penh Post, 09 August 2018: A group of tourists were prevented from performing a religious ceremony in Angkor Wat, which led to their brief detainment. It’s important to note that Angkor Wat is still a religious site and that some religious rituals are performed there at a regular basis, and people who wish to do so have to seek official permission in order to do so.

A group of Vietnamese tourists and their Cambodian guide were briefly held for questioning on Wednesday after they attempted to perform a prohibited religious ritual inside Siem Reap’s Angkor Archeological Park.

Source: Angkor Park guard halts VN religious ceremony

Students learn their ancient heritage

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Heritage Education programme in Angkor. Source: Khmer Times 08 August 2018

via Khmer Times, 08 August 2018:

In an attempt to create a better understanding of Cambodian history among youths, the Apsara Authority and Education Ministry have set up a series of educational programmes to encourage students to learn about ancient temples in Siem Reap province.

Ouk Sothea, the Education Ministry’s Cambodia National Youth Centre director, said yesterday that the programme aims to help promote cultural heritage among students.

Mr Sothea added that so far, students have visited several temples in Siem Reap in order to expose them to Cambodia’s history.

Source: Students learn their ancient heritage – Khmer Times

Tour guides voice concern over app that will offer audio tours

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via Phnom Penh Post, 07 August 2018: Potential for technology to disrupt the tourism industry in Siem Reap, but part of this story doesn’t make sense. Guidebooks and apps about Angkor are already widely available (eg. the award-winning Interactive Guide to Angkor by archaeologists Dougald O’Reilly and Charles Higham). Tour guides do offer one advantage over apps and books – the personal touch and the ability to ‘read’ the tourist for things that might interest them more. Perhaps that is one way for the tourism industry to adapt – by offering quality and personalisation.

Tour guides at the Kingdom’s historical sites are voicing concern over an audio tour app they said is threatening their careers. Developed by local company Angkor Audio, the app provides spoken tours in 14 languages.

Source: Tour guides voice concern over app that will offer audio tours

Categories: Angkor Cambodia Tourism


P’teah Cambodia project website

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P’teah Cambodia is an archaeological project run by a couple of my friends, Drs Miriam Stark and Alison Carter about household archaeology in Cambodia. They have set up a project website – check them out and their current fieldwork in Battambang below:

P’teah​ or ផ្ទះ is the Khmer word for house. We call our project P’teah Cambodia because we investigate ancient residential spaces from the Pre-Angkorian (6-8th centuries), Angkorian (8-15th centuries CE), and Post-Angkorian (15-17th centuries CE) periods.

Angkor is one of the largest preindustrial settlements in the world and has been the focus of substantial scholarly attention. Despite more than a century of epigraphic, art historical, and architectural research, however, we still know little about the people of Angkor: who built the temples, kept the shrines running, produced food, managed the water, and farmed the crops that supported the empire. Studying past households and their activities is important for understanding daily practices of people in the past. Our project explores the roles of households and non-elites in the Cambodian past.

Source: P’teah Cambodia

[Obituary] Pierre-André Lablaude, member of the ad hoc Group of Experts for the ICC-Angkor

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Conveying the sad news of the passing of Prof. Pierre-André Lablaude, who was part of the Group of Experts advising the Angkor International Coordinating Committee.

Cet architecte en chef des Bâtiments de France avait aussi participé à la rénovation complète des parterres de Le Nôtre au Parc de Sceaux.

Source: Décès de Pierre-André Lablaude, responsable du parc du Château de Versailles