I’m back from the last stint doing survey in Takeo province and the project wrapped up quite nicely! Since I’ve already explained what we were doing below, I’ll just take this opportunity to share some photos after the jump.
Above: The final 2009 LOMAP field crew
One of the most important parts of this project has been talking to people about the work we are doing and explaining our research. This has (for obvious reasons) primarily been done by the Khmer senior staff. Many of the villagers have been really curious about our work and we sometimes attract a crowd while we’re preparing to head out into the field. Local people are often a key point of information as they can tell you which mounds/ponds are new or old and if they’ve found pottery or other objects while working in the fields.
At several places we visited, people brought out things they had found while they were working in the fields. Sometimes people want to sell these objects to us but we always refuse. Buying objects like this can only encourage looting. If people are not interested in keeping these objects then we encourage them to donate them to their local Ministry of Culture office.
These are some bronze bangles a woman found while digging on her property
This is a broken (Angkorian?) period cow figurine
From the same village this is another possibly Angkorian period jewelry mold (for gold jewelry)
This was an unusual (post-Angkorian?) ceramic object. The man who found this found another identical piece. He decided to donate it to the local Ministry of Culture office.
At this village there was an ancient pond that had thousands of pre-Angkorian pottery sherds at the bottom. People would find them when they were swimming in the pond. These local kids were very excited we were so interested in them so they went “fishing” and pulled out some interesting specimens for us.
At this village, the local people were very interested in looking at the pottery sherds we collected off the surface of the mounds.
Above you see a little Neak Ta house which people in Cambodia (and across Southeast Asia) construct for local spirits. This spirit house is actually sitting on top of an ancient brick platform on a tall mound. It is possible that the brick platform was a sacred alter in the past and the people here still consider it a sacred site.
Lastly I’ll wrap up with a couple postcard shots of the Cambodian countryside after a storm with a beautiful rainbow.