Public Lecture: Archaeology of the Middle Mekong Basin

Dr. Joyce White of the Institute of Southeast Asian Archaeology will give a talk on the archaeology of Laos in Bangkok next month.

Archaeology of the Middle Mekong Basin: Will knowledge survive development and looting? A talk by Joyce White
Venue: The Siam Society, Bangkok
Date: 8 January 2015
Time: 7.30pm

Preservation of the archaeological heritage of Southeast Asia is a topic of increasing concern to many constituencies beyond scholars. Not only is the physical conservation of sites important, but understanding the ancient societies is a primary objective for both archaeologists and lay audiences such as tourists and educators. Yet archaeological evidence from Thailand and elsewhere in Southeast Asia is in grave danger of disappearing before it can be scientifically studied. Dr. Joyce White will present examples from current research on the Ban Chiang culture, from recent excavations in northern Laos, and from current legal actions in the United States to illustrate both new knowledge of the prehistory of the Mekong Basin, as well as the rapid destruction of archaeological sites in this region by modern forces. The implications of this destruction will be noted for stakeholders such as the tourism industry, the national educational system, and the rural societies whose long term economic prospects become diminished with site destruction, in addition to the scientists who study the past.

More details here.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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