K50 million approved for road repairs in Bagan

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Road repairs are good, but… only 4% of the fees goes back to developing the Bagan area?!

THE Department of Archaeology, National Museum and Library (Bagan branch) has approved a request for K50 million from the Bagan Regional Development Association (BRDA) to repair and upgrade roads near the pagodas in the archaeological zone.

Source: K50 million approved for road repairs in Bagan

Categories: Bagan Burma (Myanmar)


Road in front of Angkor Wat closed to traffic

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The area in front of the entrance to Angkor Wat is now off limits to vehicular traffic in a bid to ease congestion.

Hun Sen Bans Traffic on Angkor Wat Road
Cambodia Daily, 4 May 2016

No cars allowed near Angkor Wat
AP, via Today, 3 May 2016

Cars, vans, and other vehicular traffic will be barred from traveling along the stretch of road directly facing Angkor Wat, the country’s most iconic tourist attraction, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced on Facebook yesterday.

“From now on, only pedestrians and cyclists will be allowed to enter the road in front of Angkor Wat temple. No any other vehicles will be allowed to pass through the street, but firetrucks and ambulances will be allowed to enter during an emergency,” Mr. Hun Sen wrote.

Full story here and here.

New archaeological discoveries at Xom Trai Cave


Vietnamese archaeologists announce their findings of their excavation and and conservation project at the Xom Trai Cave in Hoa Binh province. Among the finds include the 8,000-year-old road reported earlier, as well as numerous stone tools and human burials. There’s an interesting mention about a find of mineral rock that was used as nutritional supplements – does anyone have more information about this? How do they know that ancient peoples ingested rocks for nutritional supplements?

Hoa Binh archaeological site preservation project announced
Nhan Dan, 12 March 2009

Many ancient artifacts excavated in Hoa Binh’s Xom Trai cave
Voice of Vietnam News, 13 March 2009
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Building inter-regional networks of archaeological knowledge in Southeast Asia

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This looks like a step in the right direction: the Centre for Khmer Studies ave started work on creating a network for archaeologists in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos to work together, and more importantly generate inter-regional research projects operating under the same methodology. As a region, I think the archaeological traditions in each country are still very much limited by modern national borders – one of the most evident is the way in which each country’s archaeological timeline differs from each other.

Much more has to go by way of building bridges and relationships between countries. One of the difficulties I’ve seen is the way some countries can be quite parochial about the direction of archaeology takes – partly because of political and nationalistic overtones that may arise, but also sometimes from a perceived “territorial” claim over a particular field of study. Other barriers include recent past histories (like how we’ve seen between Thailand and Cambodia over Preah Vihear), or even something as simple as the language barrier.

It’ll be interesting to see, over the next few years, how this project by the Centre for Khmer Studies sheds light on the archaeology of the inland routes from the Tonle Sap to the South China Sea. More interesting is the see how a model for inter-regional collaboration might be achieved through this project.

Tracking Asia’s ‘ancient highways’
Phnom Penh Post, 22 January 2008
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Remains of a 8,000-year-old road discovered in Vietnam


In what seems to be the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, an ancient road has been discovered in the Hoabinhian site of the Xom Trai Cave dating back to 8,000 – 9,000 years. Sadly, the story on VietNamNet doesn’t display any images of the road, but it indicates the presence of worn-out stones. Remains of an older nearby route, possibly related to the road find, dates even further back.

Ancient road found in cave
VietnamNet Bridge, 26 November 2008
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