Urbanism and Residential Patterning in Angkor

No Comments

New paper by Carter et al. in the Journal of Field Archaeology

The Khmer Empire (9th–15th centuries a.d.), centered on the Greater Angkor region, was the most extensive political entity in the history of mainland Southeast Asia. Stone temples constructed by Angkorian kings and elites were widely assumed to have been loci of ritual as well as habitation, though the latter has been poorly documented archaeologically. In this paper, we present the results of two field seasons of excavation at the temple site of Ta Prohm. Using LiDAR data to focus our excavations, we offer evidence for residential occupation within the temple enclosure from before the 11th century a.d. until the 14th century. A comparison with previous work exploring habitation areas within the Angkor Wat temple enclosure highlights similarities and differences between the two temples. We argue that temple habitation was a key component of the Angkorian urban system and that investigating this unique form of urbanism expands current comparative research on the diversity of ancient cities.

Source: Urbanism and Residential Patterning in Angkor: Journal of Field Archaeology: Vol 43, No 6

Kingsman banned in Cambodia for portraying temple as hideout for film’s villains

No Comments

via Phnom Penh Post, 12 October 2017

Cinemagoers, be warned: the blockbuster sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle won’t be playing in a theatre near you after all, with government officials yanking the action flick from the Kingdom’s screens over an allegedly negative portrayal of Cambodia deemed unacceptable for local audiences.

The light-hearted romp chronicles a fictitious British secret spy organisation that teams up with its American counterpart to find a drug lord’s secret base – which just so happens to be in Cambodia. Once discovered, a showdown between the villainess (Julianne Moore, with Elton John, playing himself, as her hostage) and the titular agents (Colin Firth and Taron Egerton) ensues against the computer-generated backdrop of a temple surrounded by jungle.

In an interview yesterday, Bok Borak, deputy director of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts’ Film Department, said the decision to ban Kingsman was made last week.

Source: Kingsman banned for portraying temple as hideout for film’s villains, Lifestyle, Phnom Penh Post

Land of fabled temple | New Straits Times | Malaysia General Business Sports and Lifestyle News

No Comments

New Straits Times, 15 April 2017: A travel story on the many popular temple sites to visit in Angkor.

THREE decades of friendship! Now that’s something to celebrate. And to mark the milestone, my friend Mathini Raman and I decided to embark on an adventure together, one that we’ll never forget.

Source: Land of fabled temple | New Straits Times | Malaysia General Business Sports and Lifestyle News

Another trio of tourists deported for taking pants off in Angkor


Yet again, tourists were caught last week taking photos of themselves with their pants down in the Ta Prohm temple. I really think it’s time to start meting out stiff punishments like actual jail time rather than suspended sentences and deportations.

Ta Prohm Roots (view on black)

Ta Prohm exhibitionists face expulsion
Phnom Penh Post, 11 May 2105

Bare-bottom Angkor tourists go to court
AFP, via Bangkok Post, 11 May 2015

Italian ‘took bare bottom snaps’ at Angkor temple
The Local, 11 May 2015

Three foreigners detained for taking nude photos at Cambodia’s famed Angkor heritage site
Xinhua, via Shanghai Daily, 11 May 2015

Three tourists face court over nude photos at Cambodia’s Angkor complex
ABC News, 12 May 2015

Tourists in Court for Naked Photos at Temple
Cambodia Daily, 12 May 2015

Tourists keep stripping at Cambodian temples and officials are not amused
Washington Post, 12 May 2015

Tourists keep baring their butts at Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temple
Fox News, 12 May 2015

Nude shutterbugs get suspended sentences
Phnom Penh Post

Siem Reap Provincial Court yesterday suspended prison sentences for three foreign tourists convicted of taking photos of their naked buttocks at Angkor Archaeological Park and ordered they be deported.

Italian Bruno Margrini, 30, Argentinean Luciano Gaston Munoz, 30, and Dutch national Kiri Stamou, 19, were arrested on Monday afternoon after being caught taking photos with their pants down by guards at the Ta Prohm temple.

Their arrest marks the third time this year foreign travellers have been busted taking nude photos at the historic World Heritage Site.

While noting the trio’s remorse, judge Hok Pov yesterday handed Margrini and Munoz a seven-month suspended sentence and fined them $315. Stamou, meanwhile, received a six-month suspended sentence and $200 fine.

Full story here, other links in titles.

Indian team reflects on Ta Prohm restoration

No Comments

The Archaeological Survey of India has been working to restore the Ta Prohm temple for over a decade now. The temple is famous for the trees growing into the structure (and was the picturesque backdrop to one of the Tomb Raider movies), but this state of nature interacting with architecture brings with it a unique set of conservation challenges.

Cambodia-2593 - We have to get to the root of the problem..

Restoring Cambodia’s Ta Prohm temple challenging: ASI
India Gazette, 07 May 2015

The overlapping of trees and man-made structures at Cambodia’s Ta Prohm temple made the Archeological Survey of India’s restoration work difficult, so they had rope in IIT-Chennai to instruct them in structural engineering.

In a video “India-Cambodia Relations – A Labour of Love” highlighting the role Indian has played in restoration of Ta Prohm, the third most visited site after Angkor Wat and the Bayon temple in the Angkor region, posted online by the external affairs ministry on May 5, Indian archaeologists spoke about the challenges they faced in restoration.

“The restoration work at Ta Prohm temple was quite a challenging task as about 150 huge trees are growing in the complex, and some of them are growing over the structures,” ASI director general Rakesh Tewari in the video.

When the ASI took over the restoration charge in 2003, Tewari noted the temple was “all crumbled down” and resettling the monument wasn’t an easy job.

Full story here.

Iconic Ta Prohm trees to go

Ta Prohm Tree. Source: The Phnom Penh Post 20140902

It’s a shame to see them go, but removing them seems necessary for the continued well-being of the temple (and not to mention the safety of visitors!). Four trees from the famed Ta Prohm temple will be removed because their continued existence within the temple structure destabilises it.

Ta Prohm Tree. Source: The Phnom Penh Post 20140902

Ta Prohm Tree. Source: The Phnom Penh Post 20140902

Temple trees to go: authority
Phnom Penh Post, 02 September 2014
Read More

Ta Prohm Excavation

No Comments
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.

Alison Carter’s Day of Archaeology post at Ta Prohm

No Comments

My friend and colleague Dr Alison Carter is featured in the The Day of Archaeology, a project highlighting what archaeologists really do (hint: we don’t dig dinosaurs). Dr Carter is currently in Cambodia, working in the Ta Prohm temple.

The Greater Angkor Project at Ta Prohm, Cambodia
Day of Archaeology, 11 July 2014
Read More