Visit the new Heritage Watch site

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Heritage Watch is a Cambodian based NGO does does a lot of good work in promoting cultural heritage from the ground up. They’ve recently updated their website and it’s worth checking out their past projects (They are working on one now called Heritage for Kids) and sending some financial support their way.

Source: heritagewatch

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Heritage education for kids

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Students learning at Banteay Chhmar. Source: Cambodia Daily 20160713

An article on Heritage Watch’s excellent school programmes in Cambodia, teaching schoolkids the value of heritage as an investment in the future protection of sites.

Students learning at Banteay Chhmar. Source: Cambodia Daily 20160713

Students learning at Banteay Chhmar. Source: Cambodia Daily 20160713

Children—A New Defense Against Looting?
Cambodia Daily, 13 July 2016

For years, archaeologists excavating pre-Angkorian sites in Banteay Meanchey province unsuccessfully attempted to stop the looting of the area’s temples and buried treasures.

Heritage Watch, a group created to protect the country’s archaeological and historical sites, determined that education was the remedy. So they trained villagers and monks living near the sites, as well as commune and community leaders, government officials and teachers.

Full story here.

Help Heritage Watch print new books for its education programme!

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Heritage Watch is crowdfunding! They are looking to raise USD $10,000 to help reprint a series of books to be used as teaching aids for children in Cambodia. The books help to raise awareness about the importance of their heritage and why it is important not to sell them away. Dr Dougald O’Reilly, Heritage Watch’s founder who appears in the video is a personal friend of mine.

heritageforkids

Heritage for Kids by Heritage Watch

Heritage for Kids involves developing a series of classes on historic preservation for teachers at primary and secondary schools in Cambodia. Part of the curriculum includes reading and reviewing “Wrath of the Phantom Army” and another of our popular children’s books ‘If the Stones Could Speak’. These books, together with a colouring book and the teacher’s guide, will help educate younger Cambodians about the importance and value of their cultural heritage. In the end, these younger Khmer will not only learn, but perhaps inform the rest of their communities, as well as their own families, on the importance of preserving their heritage.

We are seeking funds not only to reprint Wrath of the Phantom Army in the Cambodian language (Khmer), but also our children’s book and a colouring book. We are seeking support for project implementation as well.

Check out the Kickstarter page here.

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Buy Wrath of the Phantom Army and help support Khmer heritage

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Wrath of the Phantom Army

While it sounds like the name of a Star Wars prequel, Wrath of the Phantom Army is a comic book produced by Heritage Watch carrying a message of how looting destroys Cambodia’s past and future. The comic book is for sale now on iTunes – and the proceeds will go towards reprinting Khmer versions for distribution in Cambodia.

Wrath of the Phantom Army

Wrath of the Phantom Army

It’s a good cause, for the price of a cup of coffee. Purchase the comic book here on iTunes.

Cambodia’s Looting Crisis

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Sidney Jhingran, a reader and student from the University of Toronto, shares this article he first contributed for his campus newspaper.

Cambodia’s Looting Crisis: The Illicit Trade in Khmer Antiquities

Those concerned about the state of Cambodia’s cultural heritage have been closely following the ongoing legal debate between the acclaimed auction house Sotheby’s on the one hand and the government of Cambodia (receiving support from the United States) on the other. The dispute revolves around Sotheby’s planned sale of a tenth-century Khmer statue, which was allegedly looted from the Prasat Chen temple at Koh Ker in the late 1960s or early 1970s (see here, here, and here for accounts of story—see here for a related case against the Metropolitan Museum of Art).

10 th century Khmer statue held by Sotheby’s. Right: feet of the statue left behind by looters at Koh Ker.

10 th century Khmer statue held by Sotheby’s. Right: feet of the statue left behind by looters at Koh Ker.

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Heritage Watch Director wins conservation award

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Congratulations to Dr. Dougald O’Reilly for being recognised by the Archaeological Institute of America in his work in Conservation and Heritage Management! Dr O’Reilly is the founder and director of Heritage Watch, which has done many good things to help preserve the cultural heritage of Cambodia in particular.

Heritage award for Cambodia specialist
University of Sydney, 30 January 2009
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Heritage Watch gets a facelift

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I got an email from Dougald O’Reilly of Heritage Watch last week about their revamped website which you should check out here. Heritage Watch is a Cambodian-based NGO aimed at the preservation of Southeast Asia’s heritage and do a lot of good grassroots level work particularly with sustainable tourist models in Angkor.

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Wednesday Rojak #16

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This Christmas edition of the Wednesday Rojak brings us to Cambodia, Thailand and Indonesia for some ancient temples, royal architecture, hobbits and the Shan:

In this series of weekly rojaks (published on Wednesdays) I’ll feature other sites in the blogosphere that are of related to archaeology in Southeast Asia. Got a recommendation for the next Wednesday rojak? Email me!

Adventures in Angkor – Siem Reap

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I missed last week’s installment of Adventures at Angkor… oops! This last installment isn’t so much on Angkor, but on the modern town of Siem Reap, which is where you’d want to go if you want to visit the temples. It’s a small, bustling town – bustling from the massive tourist boom it has experienced since the late 1990s, and even in the off-peak tourist season the town still hums with excitement.

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Responsible tourism in Angkor

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19 August 2007 (The Brisbane Times) – The article talks about the tourist effects in Siem Reap and how to practice responsible tourism in while visiting the temples of Angkor. I’ll be touching a little more on this when I write the next Adventures in Angkor installment at the end of the week.

Invasion of Angkor Wat
Cambodia’s jewel has survived a lot, but popularity may be its biggest challenge, Kerry van der Jagt writes.

Angelina Jolie has a lot to answer for. Ta Prohm, with its ancient stonework and massive tree roots, is now sadly known as the Tomb Raider temple. And the tour groups love it. I watch on as entire groups re-enact Lara Croft running out from the temple.

One at a time they sprint, leap and hurl themselves towards their tour guide – and his video camera.

More like a stampede of clearance-sale shoppers than responsible travellers.

Angkor Wat and the surrounding Angkor temple complex in Cambodia are without doubt one of the seven man-made wonders of the world.

Stretching over 400 square kilometres, Angkor Archaeological Park contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer empire, from the 9th to the 15thcentury.

In December 1992, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation declared Angkor a World Heritage Site.

In 1993, 7600 intrepid travellers visited Angkor, but by 2006 the number had skyrocketed to 1.6million. By 2010, 3 million people are expected to visit Cambodia.

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