Land of fabled temple | New Straits Times | Malaysia General Business Sports and Lifestyle News

New Straits Times, 15 April 2017: A travel story on the many popular temple sites to visit in Angkor.

THREE decades of friendship! Now that’s something to celebrate. And to mark the milestone, my friend Mathini Raman and I decided to embark on an adventure together, one that we’ll never forget.

Source: Land of fabled temple | New Straits Times | Malaysia General Business Sports and Lifestyle News

New book looks at Ayutthaya from its economy

Bangkok Post, 16 April 2017: Silpaokorn University’s Prof Warangkana Nibhatsukit’s new book, “Ayutthaya History: Questions and Answers”. The book is in Thai.

Most people think of the Ayutthaya period in terms of its cultural heritage, but Warangkana Nibhatsukit’s latest book highlights the economic aspect of the ancient capital.

Source: The truth about Ayutthaya | Bangkok Post: news

Construction around historical Spanish bridges halted

Philippine Inquirer, 17 April 2017

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has stopped the controversial road construction project around Puente de Gibanga and Puente de Princesa in Tayabas, Quezon, pending submission of its plans to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) on how best to conserve the Spanish-era bridges.

Both bridges, with nine other Spanish colonial bridges in the city, were collectively declared National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum (NM) in 2011.

Source: DPWH, National Museum reach deal on ancient Tayabas bridges | Inquirer lifestyle

Conserving the Old Capital

Bangkok Post, 13 April 2017

Tucked away between two rivers and only 76km north of Bangkok, Ayutthaya remains a popular destination for Thai and foreign tourists to learn about the history, art and culture of Thailand. Nonetheless, frequent visitors may want a new theme to explore Ayutthaya. The best yet lesser-known icon is the late Phraya Boran Ratchathanin, a pioneer of the conservation of Ayutthaya.

Source: Conserving the Old Capital | Bangkok Post: travel

The Lost City That’s Not Lost, Not a City, and Doesn’t Need to Be Discovered

Sapiens, 13 April 2017: This article talks about ‘lost’ temples in Honduras, but the example can apply just as easily in Southeast Asia (credit to Alison Carter for the link)

Modern explorers can “discover” an ancient site, but the people living in the area already have extensive knowledge about their region’s history.

Source: The Lost City That’s Not Lost, Not a City, and Doesn’t Need to Be Discovered – SAPIENS

Even With the Khmer Rouge Gone, Cambodian Antiquities Are Still Looted

The Observer, 12 April 2017: “I went into it because I thought I might be able to afford to buy what I thought was a copy of a Cambodian statue in the window. Then the man named a price which was absolutely incredible. I said, ‘Do you mean that this piece is authentic?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘Then you are a thief.’”

An exiled prince tries to recover antiquities stolen from his home country of Cambodia.

Source: Even With the Khmer Rouge Gone, Cambodian Antiquities Are Still Looted | Observer

Angkor ticket sales will go online

TTR Weekly, 12 April 2017

Two Cambodian ministries approved measures, last week, that will allow tourists to pay by credit card and obtain entrance tickets to Angkor Wat online.

Agence Kampuchea Presse reported that approval was granted during a Board Meeting of Angkor Enterprise chaired by Aun Porn Moniroth, senior minister and Minister of Economy and Finance as well as the Ministry of Tourism.

The two ministries agreed to allow Angkor Enterprise to develop and manage ticket sales to foreign tourists online with secure credit card payments.

Source: Angkor ticket sales will go online : TTR Weekly

[Paper] What plants might potentially have been used in the forests of prehistoric Southeast Asia?

A new paper by Xhauflair et al. examines plant exploitation in Palawan, Philippins today and its potential for understanding plant exploitation in prehistory.

Pleistocene and Holocene lithic assemblages found in Southeast Asia are characterised by simple production techniques and a paucity of formal stone tools. This situation led some scholars to hypothesise that this situation reflected an adaptation of prehistoric human groups to the rainforest and that these simple stone tools had been mainly used to manufacture more complex implements made of bamboo. Microscopic use traces observed on stone tools could support this hypothesis since many result from plant processing. However, it remains unclear whether these traces were produced by working bamboo or other plants, due to the lack of a suitable use-wear reference collection. To be able to clearly discriminate the use-wear resulting from bamboo processing, such a collection needs to encompass use traces resulting not only from bamboo processing but also from working various other plants, which might potentially have been used by prehistoric groups. We present here the results of a three month field work among Pala’wan communities aiming to know what plants from the forests of Palawan, Philippines are used nowadays, are therefore useful to humans in general and might have been used during the past as well. We recorded the use of 95 different plant species belonging to at least 34 different families. Archaeobotanical studies confirm that some of those plants were available and used by humans in the past while others would have been extant at least in forest refugia, even during glacial periods. Those plants are processed by the Pala’wan at all life stages from seed to dead trees and the parts involved are very diverse. While the most frequent type of use that we witnessed was technological in nature (67 plant species), plants are also used for alimentary, medicinal, ornamental, and sanitary purposes, and even for producing poison. The observations presented here can serve as a basis for use-wear analysts to design experiments in relation to plant exploitation by humans during the past, and to enlarge reference collections.

Source: What plants might potentially have been used in the forests of prehistoric Southeast Asia? An insight from the resources used nowadays by local communities in the forested highlands of Palawan Island

Angkor sees revenue boost due to price hike

TTR Weekly, 11 April 2017: Revenue has risen, as expected, but also, the number of visitors has risen as well.

Ticket sales revenue earned from foreigners visiting Angkor Wat archaeological park reached USD30.85 million during January to March, this year, up 51.6% compared with the same period last year.
Khmer Times quoted figures released by the state-owned, Angkor Institution, which is in charge of ticket sales at the World Heritage site.
The report also claimed the number of foreign visitors to the World Heritage site rose 8.95% to 764,146 in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the same period last year.

Source: Angkor fees boost national coffers : TTR Weekly

Unesco Status Sought for Kampot, Kratie and Battambang

Cambodia Daily, 7 April 2017

A bid to gain Unesco heritage status for three Cambodian cities is set to progress as the government prepares to make a formal request for Battambang City, Kratie City and Kampot City in June to be considered for preservation.

Work on plans to win recognition for the cities—“rich in ancient buildings” that deserve to be conserved, according to the request—first began more than two years ago.

Source: Unesco Status Sought for Kampot, Kratie and Battambang – The Cambodia Daily