Dharmacakra excavated in Surat Thani

Matichon, 23 May 2017: Archaeologists in Thailand have uncovered a dharmacakra (Buddhist wheel of law) during an excavation in Surat Thani. Article is in Thai.

Source: สำนักศิลปากรที่ 12 ขุดพบ ‘ธรรมจักรศิลา’ ชิ้นใหม่ที่เขาศรีวิชัย

Wanted: Ayutthaya tour guide who encouraged bad behaviour

Daily News (Thai), 9 May 2017: A formal complaint was leveled against the Ayutthaya tour guide who led a group of Chinese tourists over the wall of Wat Si Sanpetch (thus bypassing the ticket booths); the police is now looking to prosecute the man.

ผอ.ททท.เมืองกรุงเก่าขอประณามไกด์ทัวร์จีนไร้สำนึก! พานักท่องเที่ยวปีนกำแพงโบราณสถาน ชี้ทำภาพลักษณ์เสียหายหนัก ด้านตำรวจท่องเที่ยวลุยเอาผิด จ่อประสานให้พักใช้ใบอนุญาต

Source: ผอ.ททท.ประณามไกด์ทัวร์จีน ลุยเอาผิด-จ่อพักใบอนุญาต

Ayutthaya guide facing charges for leading bad tourist behaviour

Bangkok Post, 09 May 2017: The police are looking to charge a tour guide who led a group of 20 tourists to climb the wall of Wat Phra Si Sanpet, so that they would not have to pay the entry fee.

AYUTTHAYA – A guide who set a bad example for Chinese tourists visiting the historic site by climbing a wall has been urged to meet police to hear charges.

Source: Guide climbing Ayutthaya park wall with tourists face charges | Bangkok Post: news

Join me at Pint of Science Thailand 15-17 May

If you’re in Bangkok next week, join the Pint of Science Festival which will be held for the first time in Thailand. Pint of Science brings science to the public by bringing researchers to the the pub. I have a spot on Tuesday, 16 May – the only archaeology presentation! Tickets are free, but registration is required and snacks are included.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Elephants: The unseen cave paintings of Southeast Asia
Noel Hidalgo Tan (SEAMEO SPAFA)

Step into the world of rock art – filled with carvings of gods, cave paintings and reminders of humankind’s long interaction with the landscape. Like the landscapes of Australia and South Africa, Southeast Asia is home to hundreds of rock art sites even as most of them are unknown or inaccessible. What have archaeologists learned about the past through these ancient images?!

Source: Pint of Science Thailand | Tuesday 16th May

Ayutthaya’s World Heritage status will be kept: ministry 

Nation, 08 May 2017: Thailand expresses confidence that Ayutthaya will not lose its World Heritage Site status.

The Culture Ministry is confident about its bid to protect the World Heritage status of Ayutthaya.

Source: Ayutthaya’s World Heritage status will be kept: ministry 

[Lecture] André Malraux: The looter of Banteay Srei who rose to high political office

Another interesting lecture at the Siam Society on 25 May, focusing on a particular French looter in Cambodia’s colonial period.

André Malraux: The looter of Banteay Srei who rose to high political office
by Lia Genovese
Date: Thursday, 25 May 2017
Time: 7.30 p.m.
Place: The Siam Society, 131 Asoke Montri Rd, Sukhumvit 21

In the annals of archaeology, Heinrich Schliemann, Katherine Routledge, Madeleine Colani and Howard Carter, to name a few, will be forever associated with pioneering work respectively in Troy, the Easter Island, the Plain of Jars and Egypt. Other would-be archaeologists have become household names for the wrong reasons. One of the best-known cases concerns André Malraux, a young French intellectual arrested in Phnom Penh on 24 December 1923 as he attempted to smuggle out of Cambodia several tons of bas-reliefs looted from Khmer temples and destined to collectors in Europe and America. Archival data recorded by George Groslier, the director of the National Museum responsible for the arrest, reveal that the looting involved not just Banteay Srei but also another temple never mentioned in relation to this case. Malraux was tried in Indochina but did not serve a single day of his three-year sentence and was free to return to France at the end of 1924. But why was Malraux arrested in 1923, the same year that the French colonial authorities authorised the sale of Khmer artefacts, under certain conditions? What lines of defence did Malraux use against the colonial powers he accused of neglecting Cambodia’s heritage? How did Malraux morph from youthful looter to Minister for Cultural Affairs under the presidency of Charles de Gaulle in France? In my talk I will discuss the facts of the case in light of previously unknown archival data and photographic evidence.

[Lecture] Jakarta: Past and Present

For readers in Bangkok, there will be a a couple of talks at the Siam Society on the archaeology and urban conservation of Jakarta. The speakers are Annissa M. Gultom (Archaeology) and Bambang Eryudhawan (Urban Conservation). Admission is free. (Disclosure: I am personally involved in organising this event as part of my work at SEAMEO SPAFA).

SEAMEO SPAFA in cooperation with The Siam Society Under Royal Patronage Present
Jakarta: Past and Present
The SEAMEO Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SEAMEO SPAFA) and the Siam Society will organize two lectures on the archaeology and urban conservation of Jakarta, as part of SEAMEO SPAFA’s lecture series on the archaeology of the Capitals of Southeast Asia. The first set of lectures, focusing on Jakarta, will be delivered on Tuesday 23rd May 2017 at 18.30-20.30 hrs. at the Siam Society. The event is free of charge.

Details here.

Ancient jars found at Ayutthaya’s Wat Daeng

Bangkok Post, 30 April 2017: An array of jars were discovered underneath a Buddha image in Ayutthaya, which are thought to be part of a construction technique rather than a relic offering.

AYUTTHAYA – Thirty-two ancient jars have been found underneath the main Buddha image in the chapel of Wat Daeng temple in Tha Rua district during an excavation by archaeologists for the renovation of the temple.

Source: Ancient jars found at Ayutthaya’s Wat Daeng | Bangkok Post: news