Ancient cannon found at Bangkok’s royal field

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Cannon found in Sanam Luang. Source: Matichon 20180825

via Bangkok Post, 25 August 2018:

Cannon found in Sanam Luang. Source: Matichon 20180825

Cannon found in Sanam Luang. Source: Matichon 20180825

A cannon believed to be around 200 years old has been uncovered in the middle of Sanam Luang in Bangkok.

Thai media reported the cannon might have dated back to the reign of King Rama II (1809 to 1824). It is 3.05m long with a 40cm muzzle.

It was found on Saturday evening while workers were laying drainage pipes as part of the renovation of the ceremonial ground. They found it at the depth of 1.5m and used a backhoe to lift it out. All parts were intact except for the missing carriage.

Source: Ancient cannon found at Sanam Luang | Bangkok Post: news

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Ancient Thai Artifacts Returned by American Collector

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via Khaosod English, 02 August 2018: The ceramics returned were from Ban Chiang. Thailand previously repatriated Ban Chiang ceramics from the Bowers Museum in 2014, and is still looking at 14 more artifacts housed in the Honolulu Museum of art.

Prehistoric artifacts dating back thousands of years to some of the earliest people in Southeast Asia have been returned to Thailand by an American collector, officials announced Thursday.

Source: Ancient Thai Artifacts Returned by American Collector
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Thai ‘Indiana Jones’ divers scour Bangkok’s murky river for treasure

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via Channel NewsAsia, 31 July 2018

Kneeling before his homemade metal scuba helmet, Bhoomin Samang prays for good fortune before he dives into the day’s work – scouring the bed of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya river for sunken treasure.

The 62-year-old is part of a small community known as Thailand’s “Indiana Jones” divers, who brave the inky-black underworld of the trash-filled waterway in search of coins, china, jewellery and scrap metal.

“We look for old coins, sometimes we are hired to find lost objects in the river,” says Bhoomin, a veteran diver who has been scouring the river for 30 years.

Source: Thai ‘Indiana Jones’ divers scour Bangkok’s murky river for treasure

Exhibition of Rare Books at The Siam Society

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Exhibition of Rare Books at The Siam Society from the collections of Prince Prisdang and Mom Luang Manich Jumsai
27 June – 26 July 2018

The opening of the 3rd exhibition of old and rare books from Prince Prisdang and Mom Luang Manich Jumsai’s collection will take place on 27th June at 5.30 pm. These books are on permanent loan to the Siam Society by Dr. Sumet and his family.

This exhibition will include books on Siam published between 1900 and 1950 (Rama V – IX). Altogether over sixty titles have been selected for this exhibition. The books are in English, French, German and Dutch. Exciting and classic titles like “The Land of the White elephant”, “Mission Pavie Indo-Chine” and “A Half Century Among the Siamese and the Laos”, will be of great interest to book lovers of Asia-Pacific history and travel. We owe much to the adventurous travelers and writers who took a keen interest in the far away land so that we can understand what Siam used to be like at the turn of the last century.

The Rare Books Exhibition will be on view from 28 June – 26 July (except Sunday and Monday) from 10 am – 5 pm.

Source: The Siam Society

An almost forgotten glory

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via Bangkok Post, 28 June 2018

It was a fine sunny day when more than 70 culture vultures strolled the old Front Palace (Wang Na), the palace of viceroys in the early Rattanakosin period, near Sanam Luang, to learn about its history, importance and changes. Anyone wanting to know the old palace as more than just the National Museum Bangkok can follow the footsteps of the recent “Walk With The Cloud: The Hidden Palace”, led by Khun Sirikitiya Jensen, an official of the Fine Arts Department and the youngest daughter of Princess Ubolratana.

Source: An almost forgotten glory

Discovering historic Thon Buri

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via Bangkok Post, 17 May 2018: Don’t forget! If you want to find out more about the archaeology of old Bangkok, Dr Kannika Sutheeratanaphirom (mentioned in the article) is giving a talk at the Siam Society tomorrow.

To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the establishment of Thon Buri as the former Thai capital last year, the Fine Arts Department has been conserving the old walls and moat of Thon Buri. It recently made public its findings about newly discovered archaeological sites in Bangkok, some of which are already tourist attractions.

Source: Discovering historic Thon Buri

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[Lecture] Bangkok: Past and Present

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If you’re in Bangkok this week, SEAMEO SPAFA and Siam Society are having the annual Capital’s Archaeology Lectures on Wednesday, 23 May 2018 at 18.30 hrs. This year, the talks focus on the archaeology and urban heritage of Bangkok. (Disclosure: I work for SEAMEO SPAFA, and this lecture series is an event I am organising).

The SEAMEO Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SEAMEO SPAFA) and the Siam Society will organize two lectures on the archaeology and urban conservation of Bangkok, as part of SEAMEO SPAFA’s lecture series on the archaeology of the Capitals of Southeast Asia.

  • Archaeology in Bangkok
    Bangkok was found in 1782 by the first monarch of the present Chakri dynasty. Nevertheless, historical records and archaeological evidences indicate the dynamic of settlement patterns through time from Ayutthaya period to present (ca. 800 years ago). Nowadays, Bangkok has been changed rapidly through the urban expansion and infrastructure developments. Archaeological studies in Bangkok have started systematically in the past 25 years. All of the archaeological excavations were considered as rescue/salvage archaeology or salvage of archaeological evidence before the archaeological sites were destroyed in order to develop, conserve, or improve knowledge regarding historic activities at these sites. There are more than 30 archaeological excavation sites, which are layered under dense infrastructure. Archaeological excavation project work closely with infrastructure development projects such as the mass rapid transit projects. Very tangible ruins and artefacts were revealed through a systematic excavation. The excavation of Siriraj Piyamaharajkarun Hospital is the best example of archaeology in Bangkok, which was conducted while digging to prepare the base construction of a new medical building in 2008. Many artefacts including the remains of wooden boat and ancient city wall were found. Therefore, an archaeological study was conducted in this area for this purpose.
    Dr Kannika Suteerattanapirom is archaeologist and assistant professor of the faculty of archaeology, Silpakorn university in Bangkok, Thailand. Her ongoing research focuses on urban archaeology in Bangkok. She has undertaken numerous archaeological excavation projects in Bangkok. Her current research project entitled ‘state of knowledge of Bangkok archaeology: information, direction and plan of conservation and development in the future’.
  • Rattanakosin: Urban heritage of Bangkok
    “Rattanakosin Island” is the origin of Bangkok metropolitan area. Urban permanence falls under two criteria: tangible permanences, mostly old buildings inventoried as historic monuments, and intangible permanences, ancient urban features that remain in the city today in the form of activities and functions. The Chao Phraya River is the major structuring element of the city since its origin. The river and the three concentric boundary canals, dug successively, have limited and defined Rattanakosin Island, according to the traditional notions of Thai culture and in agreement with the former treaties on military art. The river and the three axes of urban expansion are the major permanence have guided the development of the city since the founding of Rattanakosin to the present metropolis. Today the construction of the road network has lessened the importance of water in the city and led to the disappearance of traditional urban features such as floating markets and clusters of houseboats, but the activity related to the river remains intense.
    Dr. Pornthum Thumwimol is a Landscape Architect of the Fine Arts Department in the Ministry of Culture, Thailand. He received his Doctorate in Architecture from the University of Paris VIII and the Research Institute for Architecture (IPRAUS) in Paris, a Pre-doctorate (DEA) in the Philosophy of Landscape architecture and Master degree in Architecture and Urban Planning, Architecture School of Paris de la Villette, Paris, France and a Bachelor of Landscape architecture from Chulalongkorn University. He has engaged in a wide range of design and planning projects, both in architecture and landscape architecture and received numerous prestigious awards, including The Association of Siamese Architects (ASA) Excellence and Honour Awards for the design of Panumrung information centre (1992). He is involved in the establishment of cultural landscape studies in Thailand and has been a writer and co-editor for several books and articles.