Fieldwork Opportunity: Unearthing the ancient secrets of Angkor in Cambodia

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How would you like a chance in excavating Angkor Wat in 2018? Two of my friends and colleagues, Miriam Stark and Alison Carter are opening up fieldwork opportunities through the Earthwatch Institute; it is a pay-to-volunteer programme, with the proceeds used to fund the excavation.

The civilization of Angkor was long believed to have collapsed, but recent evidence suggests that the people continued living sustainably in the Angkor region after the empire collapsed and the capital moved south. What can we learn about dramatic changes that occurred in their society by studying their daily lives?

Much is known about the kings who ruled the Angkorian Empire from the 9th to 15th centuries, but far less is known about their subjects: the people who lived and worked during this time period and the following the post-Angkorian period (15-17th centuries CE), the so-called “non-elites.”

Previous archaeological work by the Greater Angkor Project suggests that these communities survived political conflicts from rival kingdoms and multiple periods of drought and flooding. We still know far more about Angkor’s rulers than about their subjects. What were their home lives like? How did they manage sustainable households under such climactic and socio-political challenges? Why did they stay after the political capital moved south?

By studying the remains of households, scientists hope to solve some of these mysteries. Join them on this novel archaeological expedition in the quest to uncover the answers to how the Khmer people endured in the face of these obstacles.

Source: Unearthing the ancient secrets of Angkor in Cambodia

Set Square

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Elena Piotto

Elena Piotto

Elena Piotto
The Australian National University
Matja Kuru 2 in Timor-Leste. The initial phase of an excavation commences when squares are set out. This photo shows the old pit (from a previous field trip) in the foreground while the new squares are being strung. Equipment surrounds the section – ready and waiting for the excavation to begin in earnest.

Ta Prohm Excavation

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Alison Carter

Alison Carter

Alison Carter
Greater Angkor Project 2014
This photo is from the Greater Angkor Project excavation at Ta Prohm in June-July 2014. Dr. Miriam Stark, the project Co-Investigator, has been a great proponent of international cross-cultural collaboration, especially between Southeast Asian archaeologists. In this picture we have archaeologists from Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Germany, and Australia inspecting one of our excavation trenches. From left to right: Sovann Voeurn, Komnet Moul, Piphal Heng, Udomluck “Aom” Hoontrakul, Pipad “Kob” Krajaejun, Hannah Arnhold, Rachna Chhay, Ngaire Richards,and Quy Tran.

This year’s excavations at Angkor Wat

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A feature on the excavations at Angkor Wat that just wrapped up.

Source: Nat Geo Traveller, 20180716

Source: Nat Geo Traveller, 20180716

Cambodia: Angkor Wat’s new discovery
Nat Geo Traveller, 16 July 2018

This is no camping ground, but an excavation site — one of myriad archaeological digs underway in the Angkor area that come under the umbrella of the Greater Angkor Project.

Beneath one of the tarps, Coline Cardeño, a young University of the Philippines archaeology student with a big smile, stands in a deep grave-like trench scribbling measurements onto a clipboard. Not far away, at the end of another trench, American archaeologist Dr Alison Carter sits at a table piled with papers and a MacBook with a battery-life obviously longer than mine.

These two archaeologists, along with others I meet — Cambodian PhD candidate Piphal Heng, ceramics specialist Rachna Chhay from the APSARA Authority, which manages Angkor Archaeological Park, and the University of Hawaii’s Dr Miriam Stark — are doing fieldwork in the walled area surrounding Angkor Wat.

Full story here.

Categories: Cambodia Fieldwork

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