[Lecture] Common Heritage through Ancient Communication Networks in Mainland Southeast Asia

Readers in Bangkok may be interested in this talk by Dr Surat Lertlum on 18 January 2018:

Since 2005, Thai and Khmer scholars have conducted research utilizing multi-disciplinary approaches, including archaeology, anthropology, geo-informatics, geo-physics and information technology, with the continued and generous support of the Thailand Research Fund (TRF). At the outset, the study focused on the royal roads from Angkor. The work of the international team has benefited from the results of remote sensing surveys, which have significantly helped the systematic ground trusting conducted during several campaigns in Cambodia, Thailand and Laos. The team, consisting of experts from Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, subsequently expanded the scope of its study to identify the cultural relationships involving Mainland Southeast Asia, based on ancient communication networks. This presentation will be centered on the cross-border, multi-disciplinary research on ancient communication networks in Mainland Southeast Asia, aimed at identifying all the remaining sections of ancient roads and communication networks in the region. The discussion will extend to cities connected by ancient roads and trails, as well as waterways serving as communication networks, revealing physical evidence of cultures interconnected by a complex range of different communication systems and the common heritage that ensued from these ancient networks.

Common Heritage through Ancient Communication Networks in Mainland Southeast Asia. A Talk by Surat Lertlum

Tourists behaving badly: Butt naked in Thailand

via Bangkok Post, 30 Nov 2017: This news came out last week while I was away on a work trip, but a pair of tourists have been detained in Thailand for taking selfies of their bare butt in Bangkok’s Wat Arun. They now face several charges including jail time. We have seen other tourists getting in trouble previously for stripping in Angkor and Bagan, so we can say that these two are literally a pair of dumb asses.

Two American men who posted photos of themselves with their rear ends exposed on their “Travelling butts” Instagram travel page at the capital’s famous Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) could face seven years in jail.

Source: ‘Travelling butts’ duo may face 7 years

Fine arts unit reproached for ancient wall restoration

via Bangkok Post, 24 November 2017:

CHACHOENGSAO: A local fine arts agency defended the restoration of an ancient city wall built in the reign of King Rama III in Muang district, saying the maintenance costing more than 9 million baht was conducted with materials similar to those used in the bygone era.

Source: Fine arts unit reproached for ancient wall restoration

Culture Ministry calls for return of ancient Thai artifacts

via Pattaya Mail, 22 Nov 2017:

Bangkok – The Ministry of Culture is speeding up the process for the return of ancient Thai artifacts from overseas. The ministry’s ad hoc committee has called for the repatriation of artifacts that originated from Thailand and recently acknowledged the verification of 14 ancient items currently in the possession of the Honolulu Museum of Art […]

Source: Culture Ministry calls for return of ancient Thai artifacts – Pattaya Mail

Thai Treasure Divers Lose Out to Economic Growth

via NHK World, 07 November 2017: An interesting video story from NHK World about the underwater salvagers who operate in the Chao Phraya River that cuts through Bangkok.

Running through central Bangkok is the Chao Phraya River. On it is the city’s largest floating village, Mittakham. About 300 people live there. The community is estimated to be about 100 years old.

A development project means the community is scheduled to be torn down. Its residents are being forced to move from the river that’s given them their livelihoods for generations.

One of them is 53-year-old Jamroen Bua-Sri. Every day, he puts on a steel helmet and goes into the river to hunt for antiques and other treasures. He’s one of about 40 such divers. The river was a crucial trade route linking the ancient capital of Ayutthaya to China and other Asian countries, so it’s surprising what can turn up.

“My grandfather was a fisherman. One day, he found something in the river, and there were people who paid for it. So he began to search for lost treasures in the river,” says Jamroen. He has salvaged more than 10,000 items. He says this is an amulet from the early Ayutthaya Kingdom period that ended in the mid-1700s. Some artifacts retrieved by the divers have even gone into national museum collections.

Source: Thai Treasure Divers Lose Out to Economic Growth – Editor’s Picks – News – NHK WORLD – English

Thai culture goes digital

via Bangkok Post, 08 Nov 2017: Check out the Thai cultural heritage online at digitalcenter.finearts.go.th

To ensure better access and understanding of national cultural heritage, the Fine Arts Department has applied and developed information technology systems in six aspects.

The Silpakorn Online System is an app for the department’s official website. It gathers information on Thai historic sites, national museums, learning sources, national libraries, national archives, procurement and new books of the department.

The Smart Museum System is an app for the National Museum Bangkok and is iOS and Android compatible. The system reads QR codes and Augmented Reality Code (AR code) for photographs and videos of the museum, its exhibitions and displayed objects. The AR code uses 3D technology to present 3D models of Phutthai Sawan, Sivamokphiman and Issaretratchanusorn halls, royal mansions and all ancient artefacts at 360 degrees. The Phra Nakhon Khiri National Museum in Phetchaburi province is the first national museum in Thailand to fully apply a guide application and an AR code guidance system under the 2.4 million baht pilot project.

The Virtual Museum System gathers and presents information on all national museums, their displayed ancient artefacts and art objects via a website. It offers virtual tours of all museums and 3D images of major artefacts at 360 degrees and enables viewer interaction.

The Fine Arts Department’s digital archive includes more than 2,400 e-books and 500 videos from the department’s original versions, as well as old photos of major incidents, such as the 25th anniversary of King Rama V’s coronation and the royal visits and work of King Rama VII from 1927 to 1930.

Source: Thai culture goes digital | Bangkok Post: lifestyle

Ayutthaya ruins to be promoted as night-time tourist destination

via Pattaya Mail, 20 October 2017:

The city of Ayutthaya is planning to install special lighting systems at all its major ancient sites to attract tourists to visit at night-time. Support Pattaya Mail – Click Here Director of the Ayutthaya Historical Park, Sukanya Baonert, said a budget of more than 300 million baht has been allocated to make Thailand’s ancient capital […]

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

Chao Phraya River on heritage watch list

via Bangkok Post, 19 October 2017:

The Chao Phraya River has been enlisted in the 2018 World Monument Watch for cultural heritage sites that face daunting risks.

The river that runs through Thailand’s capital city is one of 25 sites placed under the 2018 watch list by World Monuments Fund (WMF), an independent agency devoted to saving the world’s treasured sites.

WMF on Sunday released its 2018 World Monuments Watch, consisting of a diverse group of cultural heritage sites spanning across 30 countries and territories, that face daunting threats ranging from human conflicts and urbanisation to natural disasters and climate change. The list also includes unique conservation opportunities.

Source: Chao Phraya on heritage watch list | Bangkok Post: news

Wall built to protect Ayutthaya historical sites from flooding

via Bangkok Post, 09 October 2017: We’ve been getting heavy rains in Bangkok and other parts of Thailand, with some floods already reported. Ayutthaya has previously been susceptible to floods, and there have been some mitigation measures put in place – it remains to be seen if they can last this year’s downpour.

Ayutthaya local authorities and officers from the Ayutthaya Historical Park have built a flood defence wall to prevent damage to archaeological sites.

Source: Wall built to protect Ayutthaya historical sites from flooding

See also:

150-year-old royal puppet tradition revived for late King’s cremation

via The Nation, 07 October 2017: The late Thai king’s cremation next week will also see a number of revived cultural crafts which haven’t been seen in generations.

THE CENTURY-OLD royal puppet has been revived to perform at the Royal Cremation of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej on October 26.

Source: Royal puppet revived for late King’s cremation

See also: