Training in Thin-Section Petrography for Use in Archaeological Ceramic Studies

Training opportunity for Thin-Section Petrography in ceramics studies. Deadline is 26 Janaury 2018:

Notice of Workshop at the Angkor Ceramics Unit
Training in Thin-Section Petrography for Use in Archaeological Ceramic Studies
5 – 9 March, 2018
Siem Reap, Cambodia

This workshop is designed for Southeast Asian practicing archaeologists and advanced students engaged in the study of ceramics and excavation of ceramic kilns. Led by two experienced senior specialists, the workshop will convey knowledge of the techniques and uses of polarized light microscopy of ceramics and stone, known as thin-section petrography, and standard ceramic engineering tests of sherds and raw materials.

The program will take place from Monday 5 March through Friday 9 March 2018 in Siem Reap, Cambodia, at the Angkor Ceramics Unit. The Angkor Ceramics Unit stores and studies ceramics excavated from kiln sites in Greater Angkor. In 2015 it was declared an official component of the Angkor International Center for Research and Documentation, a division of the Apsara Authority (Authority for the Protection of the Site and Management of the Region of Angkor), with the official endorsement of UNESCO.

The workshop will consist of a hands-on short course on thin-section petrographic analysis of archaeological ceramics, together with hands-on observation and testing of the structure (optical microscopy, chemical tests), composition (pXRF) and properties of sherds and raw materials.Participants will gain skills in low-cost but highly effective methods for identifying the mineralogical constituents of ceramic materials, discerning variability in materials, and relating that variability to differences in geological or archaeological sources and to ceramic technologies. A focus on the specific nature of Cambodian materials is a distinguishing feature of the workshop.

The primary workshop instructors will be Dr. Chandra L. Reedy, Professor in the Center for Historic Architecture and Design and Director of the Laboratory for Analysis of Cultural Materials, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA; and Dr. Pamela B. Vandiver, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Co-Director, Program in Heritage Conservation Science, and Adjunct Professor, School of Anthropology in Archaeology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA.

The workshop is organised by H. E. Tan Boun Suy and Dr. Ea Darith of the Angkor International Center for Research and Documentation, Apsara Authority, and Louise Cort, curator for ceramics, Freer|Sackler, Smithsonian Institution. Financial support is provided by the Luce Foundation and the Friends of Khmer Culture.

The workshop is open to 16 practicing archaeologists and advanced students—8 from Cambodia and 8 from other countries in Southeast Asia. Travel assistance, accommodation, food, and limited per diem will be provided.

Applications should be received no later than Friday 26 January 2018. Successful applicants will be advised by email.

APPLICATION

Please submit your application in English by email to Dr. Ea Darith, eadarith@yahoo.com and Louise Cort, cortlo@si.edu. Please provide the following information:

  1. Name (family name in capital letters)
  2. Age, gender
  3. Email address
  4. Home postal address
  5. Institutional affiliation
  6. Name of person to whom you are responsible (such as supervisor or head of department) and that person’s email address
  7. Proposed means of travel to and from your home base and Siem Reap, and estimate of costs
  8. Summary of education (degrees and dates) and previous experience in field archaeology and the study of archaeological ceramics
  9. Brief statement of current research and research interests. Please add citations to your reports and publications, if applicable.

Thank you from the workshop team.

Dugout discovered in Siem Reap

The remains of a dugout boat, some 13m long, was discovered in Siem Reap and is being investigated for its archaeological potential.

Dugout boat found in the Angkor Thom district. Phnom Penh Post, 20160411
Dugout boat found in the Angkor Thom district. Phnom Penh Post, 20160411

Boat found at Siem Reap work site could be ancient artefact
Phnom Penh Post, 11 April 2016

Archaeology authorities are eagerly waiting to discover the true age of a potentially ancient boat after it was dredged up from the sandy depths in Siem Reap on Friday afternoon.

The 12.83-metre vessel was carved out from a single tree trunk and was unearthed some 7 metres underground at a construction site in Angkor Thom district, Apsara Authority spokesperson Long Kosal said.

A sample of the rare find has been sent for carbon dating to determine its age.

“From our point of view, this is the first boat of its kind that we’ve seen,” Kosal said.

“We cannot make any assumption or conclusion … but we believe this could be from ancient times.”

The boat is now lying submerged in the moat around Angkor Wat for preservation.

Full story here.

New Angkor museum a symbol of good relations with North Korea

Another story about the newly-opened museum in Siem Reap run by North Korea. It looks like the museum also has North Korean staff.

Mysterious North Korean museum opens in Cambodia
Japan Times, 18 January 2016

Yit Chandaroat, deputy chief of the museum, said he could see no other reason than seizing a business opportunity, citing the ever-increasing flow of foreign tourists visiting the Angkor Wat temple complex located nearby.

However, he did not rule out North Korea having the diplomatic motive of seeking to maintain its good ties with Cambodia and increase its footprint in Siem Reap well beyond two restaurants named Pyongyang.

The museum may also serve to promote North Korea’s identity, with visitors able to talk to North Korean women working inside, view paintings that depict the North’s mountain views and sample its ginseng tea.

According to Yit Chandaroat, more than 20 North Korean staffers are working there, including a dozen females.

Full story here.

Preah Norodom Sihanouk Angkor Museum to undergo assessment for renovations

The Preah Norodom Sihanouk Angkor Museum, a small museum in the outskirts of Siem Reap, will have renovations planned for it in the near future.

Preah Norodom Sihanouk Angkor Museum. Source: Khmer Times 20151215
Preah Norodom Sihanouk Angkor Museum. Source: Khmer Times 20151215

Angkor Museum to Get Facelift or be Forgotten
Khmer Times, 15 December 2015

At the end of a long, narrow side road – down the block from the new North Korean-built Angkor Panorama Museum – the Preah Norodom Sihanouk Angkor Museum sits hidden behind sparse patches of scrubs ten years after it opened its doors for the first time.

The little known and largely forgotten museum was first built to house more than 100 Buddhist statues discovered at Banteay Kdei temple by a team of Japanese researchers from Sophia University in 2000 and 2001.

The museum – established jointly by Sophia University and Apsara Authority – has expanded slowly over the past ten years to house two additional exhibitions of objects found during archaeological excavations in the Angkor Park.

At the December 4th opening ceremony of the Angkor Panorama Museum, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An told the crowd of nearly 1,000, “We need more tourist products such as this to attract visitors to Cambodia…We want to see tourists stay longer in Cambodia.”

Full story here.

The new Angkor Panorama Museum

There’s a new museum in Siem Reap, the Angkor Panorama Museum, which is built and funded by the North Korean government. I visited it on the opening day last week and it was a big information gallery of all the temples, but for the $15 price tag it might be a better idea to hop on a tuk tuk for the same price and see the real temples instead!

Angkor Panorama Museum. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20151127
Angkor Panorama Museum. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20151127

North Korea-funded museum set to open in Siem Reap
Phnom Penh Post, 27 November 2015

An Angkor-themed museum funded and operated by North Korea, but located in Siem Reap, is finally set to open after years of delays.

The vast Grand Panorama museum, set on a 4-hectare site just 3 kilometres from the temple complex, is due to open on December 4, according to Long Kosal, spokesman for the Apsara Authority, which manages the temples.

“Because of the current holiday, invitations to the opening ceremony have not yet been sent out, but they will be distributed soon,” he said.

Kosal added that the North Korean company that built the museum would run it, together with the government, for 10 years, during which time they would get back their investment plus profit. Management would then transfer to Apsara.

Full story here.

The sacred landscapes of Phnom Kulen

Last month’s Archaeology Magazine has a feature on the archaeological features of Phnom Kulen, featuring the rock art site of Poeung Komnou – one of the sites that I investigated for my doctoral work.

Bas-relief of Poeung Komnou, Phnom Kulen. Archaeology, 201412
Bas-relief of Poeung Komnou, Phnom Kulen. Archaeology, 201412

Storied Landscape
Archaeology, December 2014

Journey to Phnom Kulen [Video]
Archaeology, December 2014
Continue reading “The sacred landscapes of Phnom Kulen”

APSARA Authority vigorously defends against accusations

Following claims of financial impropriety, the APSARA Authority denies any wrongdoing.

Angkor

Angkor Park Authority Hits Back at CNRP Lawmaker
Cambodia Daily, 26 December 2014

Angkor Wat Authority Defends Reported Ticket Revenues
Radio Free Asia, 29 December 2014
Continue reading “APSARA Authority vigorously defends against accusations”

Siem Reap to host minsterial conference on Culture and Tourism

The First World Conference on Tourism and Culture will be held in Siem Reap next year, addressing issues of tourism in cultural sites.

Unesco and UNWTO conference in Siem Reap
Unesco and UNWTO conference in Siem Reap

UNWTO and UNESCO to organize first World Conference on Tourism and Culture
Unesco, 19 December 2014
Continue reading “Siem Reap to host minsterial conference on Culture and Tourism”

Experimental kiln built at the EFEO

It’s experimental archaeology at work: the re-creation of an Angkorian style kiln by archaeologists at the Ecole Française d’Extreme Orient in Siem Reap.

Kiln firing at the EFEO earlier this month
Kiln firing at the EFEO earlier this month

Recreating the kilns of Angkor
Phnom Penh Post, 13 December 2014
Continue reading “Experimental kiln built at the EFEO”

Angkoran canal destroyed

A Cambodian archaeologist is raising the alert that an ancient Angkoran canal is being destroyed – in some cases being dismantled in order to be converted into kilns.

Angkoran canal at risk. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20141124
Angkoran canal at risk. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20141124

Expert urges gov’t to save site
Phnom Penh Post, 24 November 2014
Continue reading “Angkoran canal destroyed”