Thai FAD chief aiming for one new World Heritage site every year

1 Comment
Borvornvate Rungrujee, D-G of the Thai FAD. Source: Bangkok Post 20150416

A Bangkok Post feature on Borvornvate Rungrujee, the Director-General of the Fine Arts Department in Thailand and his plan to nominate more World Heritage Sites from the kingdom.

Borvornvate Rungrujee, D-G of the Thai FAD. Source: Bangkok Post 20150416

Borvornvate Rungrujee, D-G of the Thai FAD. Source: Bangkok Post 20150416

The fine art of cultural preservation
Bangkok Post, 16 April 2015
Read More

International diplomats visit Phu Phra Bat

No Comments
Phu Phra Bat visit. Source: The Nation 20150302

The Thai government hosted a visit to the Phu Phra Bat Historical Park for diplomatic guests to raise support for its bid to put the park into the Unesco World Heritage register.

Phu Phra Bat visit. Source: The Nation 20150302

Phu Phra Bat visit. Source: The Nation 20150302

Rocks of worship
The Nation, 02 March 2015

The Culture Ministry takes diplomats, art experts and the press to Phu Phrabat Historical Park, recently nominated for World Heritage Site status

Since its nomination by the Thai Culture Ministry to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s World Heritage head office in Paris at the beginning of the year, the prehistoric site of Phu Phrabat Historical Park in Udon Thani has seen a massive surge in visitors.

Among the most recent visitors was a group of some 50 diplomats and art experts from 26 countries, including foreign ambassadors and their spouses, who were invited by the ministry to take part in a cultural trip to both Phu Phrabat and Vientiane, the capital of Laos.

Located on a mountain in Ban Phue district and surrounded by lush forest, Phu Phrabat Historical Park dates back to the prehistoric era. The area is home to hundreds of unusual rock formations left behind by a slow-moving glacier millions of years ago. Many of the ruins and objects have been fashioned from materials found locally and include, for instance, a rock decorated as a stupa and another chiselled into the shape of a foot. Prehistoric rock paintings, sandstone images and idols abound. The site was declared a historical park by the Fine Arts Department in 1991 and in 2004 was put on the “tentative list” for World Heritage status.

Full story here.

Phu Phra Bat Historical Park to be nominated for world heritage

No Comments
U-sa's Tower in Phu Phra Bat Historical Park. Source: The Nation, 20150127

Phu Phra Bat Historical Park in Udon Thani Province Thailand is to be nominated at Thailand’s next World Heritage site. This ridge in northeast Thailand is reminiscent of Cambodia’s Phnom Kulen, and contains a long history of human occupation from prehistoric rock paintings, to remains of Dvaravati, Lopburi/Khmer and recently Lan Xang cultures. It is a beautiful landscape and I was really fortunate to have investigated some of the sites there as part of my PhD research.

U-sa's Tower in Phu Phra Bat Historical Park. Source: The Nation, 20150127

U-sa’s Tower in Phu Phra Bat Historical Park. Source: The Nation, 20150127

Phu Phra Bat Park nominated for Unesco Heritage Site list
The Nation, 27 January 2015

Phu Phra Bat Park chosen for Unesco Heritage list
The Nation, 28 January 2015

The Culture Ministry has decided to nominate Udon Thani’s Phu Phra Bat Park as a Unesco World Heritage Site and will put the plan up for consideration at Parliament tomorrow.

Situated in Ban Phue district, the park features ruins and objects dating back to pre-historic times as well as to the Dvaravati, Lopburi, and Lan Xang periods.

The 1,200-acre site is located in the lush Phu Phra Bat Buabok Forest Park, where there are many peculiarly shaped rocks owing to slow-moving glaciers millions of years ago. Also, many of the ruins and objects – such as a rock shaped to look like a stupa and another chiselled to the shape of a foot – were not made entirely by hand.

Visitors can also admire the pre-historic paintings, sandstone images and idols. The Fine Arts Department declared the site a historical park in 1991.

Full story here and here.

The archaeology of Northeast Thailand

1 Comment

A feature on the archaeological sites of Northeast Thailand. Incidentally, I went to a number of the sites mentioned in the story while on fieldwork earlier this year.

Khao Chan Ngam, Nakhon Ratchasima Province. Bangkok Post 20120830

Khao Chan Ngam, Nakhon Ratchasima Province. Bangkok Post 20120830

Rediscovering ancient civilisations
Bangkok Post, 30 Aug 2012
Read More

Rock art and sacred sites in Mainland Southeast Asia

1 Comment

Starting off the week with a post about what I’ve been up to the last six weeks – I’ve been in Thailand and Laos to conduct some fieldwork at rock art sites. I was particularly interested in the connection of rock art with religious (typically Buddhist) sites.

The team at Khao Chan Ngam, in Nakhon Ratchasima province in Thailand

The team at Khao Chan Ngam, in Nakhon Ratchasima province in Thailand

Read More

Thailand's rock art

No Comments

The Shumla (Studying Human Use of Materials, Land, and Art), a centre for rock art research based in Texas, recently made a trip to Thailand to see some of the rock art there. Rock art is one of the least understood pieces of material culture in Southeast Asia, and in this region is given a cursory, by-the-way mention in texts. Rock art in Thailand is clustered around the northeast and along the peninsula.

Southwest Texas Live, 21 Feb 2008

Shumla sends Texas to Thailand for rock art research
Southwest Texas live, 21 February 2008
Read More

Khmer sites given heritage status

1 Comment

03 May 3007 (Bangkok Post) – Three sites in Thailand are given World Heritage Site status by UNESCO.

Sites to get heritage status

Three ancient Khmer ruins and their surrounding areas and a historic park, all in the Northeast, have been declared World Heritage sites by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), officials at the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry’s National Park Department said. The sanctuaries of Phimai in Nakhon Ratchasima, as well as Phanom Rung and Muang Tam in Buri Ram were given World Heritage status. Surrounding historic areas were also annexed to the heritage sites.

The other heritage site is Phu Phrabat historic park in Udon Thani.

The Unesco World Heritage Centre has agreed to register both the sanctuaries, their surroundings and Phu Phrabat as World Heritage sites, officials said.


Related Books:
The Art and Architecture of Thailand: From Prehistoric Times Through the Thirteenth Century by H. W. Woodward
The Civilization of Angkor by C. Higham
– Northeast Thailand before Angkor: evidence from an archaeological excavation at the Prasat Hin Phimai by S. Talbot and C. Janthed