As the weather is starting to thaw here in Wisconsin there are few interesting archaeology-related stories to share:
-I, along with my colleague Wes Clarke, have started an American Association of Southeast Asian Archaeology (AASEAA) website and Google Group. The overall goal was to connect scholars doing research in Southeast Asia (but based in the US) with one another (virtually and in person at US conferences). We had an excellent dinner at the recent Society for American Archaeology meetings (photos come to the AASEAA website soon) that also included several East and South Asian archaeologists. If you read this blog, you’d probably also be interested in checking out the website and joining our Google Group!
-Also at the SAA meeting: An interesting session on “blogging archaeology.” I only got to see a few papers, but if you’re interested in other archaeological blogs I encourage you to check out the blogging archaeology discussion over at Middle Savagery and this link on Past Thinking collating several other archaeology blogs.
-The Phnom Penh Post recently had an article about villagers in a town in Takeo province protesting the sale of their ancient hill (home to an archaeological site).
Heng Try, A representative of Thmey village said employees belonging to an unknown businessman were repelled by the villagers when they attempted to clear Tuol Ang Yeay Pov hill using land clearing machinery and trucks.
“They want to destroy it to dig up artifacts [which] the villagers don’t want, the villagers want to keep it and build a Buddhist hall for worship,” Heng Try said.
Tuol Ang Yeay Pov hill, a 30 by 40 metre ancient site of worship dating back at least 800 years to the reign of king Jayavarman VII, is recognised as a protected site of worship and as state property by Tram Kak district’s cultural department, Heng Try said.
This is one of those stories where I’m dying to know more and hear a follow-up. Regular readers will know I’ve done a lot of survey of archaeological sites in Takeo province with the LOMAP project and so I have a particular fondness for this area. I’ve never been to this site and I can’t seem to find it listed in the CISARK database either. I am really excited to see the villagers fighting to preserve this site and I hope they’ve had some success.
-There is a neat article in the Bangkok Post (with some nice photos) on archaeological/historic sites in Ratchaburi province, Thailand–including some Khmer sites.
-Penn Museum blog has an ongoing series of entries from a visiting Thai scholar who is in the US working with the Ban Chiang ceramics collection. The entries are posted in both English and Thai.
In other news, it looks like I’ll be heading back to Cambodia to do fieldwork this summer. I’m looking forward to getting back in the field and sharing the experience on the blog!