Koh Ker Field School – Torp Chey site visit, survey, and lecture (Credit: Dr. D. Kyle Latinis).
The Archaeological Unit (AU) at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS) conducted an archaeological Field School from 2-22 December 2015 in Koh Ker, Cambodia. This was in collaboration with Cambodia’s APSARA Authority and was the third Field School conducted by AU in Cambodia.
There were a total of 12 students who participated in the Field School from a variety of East Asian countries including Cambodia; Indonesia; Laos; Vietnam; Philippines; Myanmar; Hong Kong; New Zealand; and Singapore.
The itinerary featured interactive site visits and informal on-site lectures. Hands-on training sessions took participants and staff through 2000 years of complex socio-political and economic evolution. Topics also included urbanisation, exchange dynamics, cultural influence, and multi-directional agency among pan-Asian networks. The pivotal points of analytical foci and departure spanned the famed Khmer polities of Funan (1st-6th centuries CE), Chenla (7th-8th centuries CE), and Angkor (9th-14th centuries CE).
The main event included coordinated archaeological and anthropological operations at multiple sites within the enigmatic 10th century Angkorian capital city of Koh Ker associated with the reign of Jayavarman IV. Participants lived on-site (in the forest) working with professional staff and local community members. They trained at three excavation locales to cover a diverse range of approaches, techniques and research questions. The results will provide valuable contributions to science, archaeology and history.
The final Field School leg in Singapore provided an important comparative component, added training opportunities, facilitated library access and allowed participants to finalise and present team projects.
The Field School was funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore. Primary institutions included ISEAS and APSARA Authority. Supporting partners included the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, Cambodia; the Royal University of Fine Arts, Cambodia; The Royal Academy of Cambodia; the National Museum of Cambodia; the Hungarian Southeast Asian Research Institute; Ecole Francaise d’Extreme-Orient; and an extensive list of several other organisations and independent researchers who provided invaluable input, advice, opportunities and support.
Field School Director: Dr D. Kyle Latinis (ISEAS)
Field School Co-Director: Dr Ea Darith (APSARA Authority)
Field School Archaeologist and Operations Manager: Ms Foo Shu Tieng (ISEAS)
Archaeological Field School site visits and landscape archaeology training and historical ecology modelling at the ancient urban sites of Phnom Chisor and Angkor Borei, Cambodia. (Credit: Dr. Ea Darith)
Dr. D. Kyle Latinis (Field School Director) conducting surface survey, mapping, and landscape Archaeology training at Angkor Borei. (Credit: S. T. Foo)
Dr. Ea Darith (Field School Co-Director) discussing epigraphy and bar relief analysis at Angkor Wat. (Credit: S. T. Foo)
Art and architectural history training by Dr. Helene Njoto at Angkor Wat. (Credit: Dr. Ea Darith)
Field school students at Sambor Prei Kuk – site visit, applied research design, and site preservation training. (Credit: S. T. Foo)
Koh Ker Field School – Auger-coring and soil analysis training. (Credit: Dr. D. Kyle Latinis)
‘ASEAN-style’ group shot at Prasat Srayang, Koh Ker temple complex– site visits, survey and lectures led by the Hungarian Team. (Credit: S. T. Foo)
Excavation at Koh Ker 2 – recovering an intact early Khmer glazed jarlet. (Credit: S. T. Foo)
Mr. Aaron Kao conducting site and feature drawing training at Prasat Damrei, Koh Ker. (Credit: Dr. D. Kyle Latinis)
Local students and teachers visiting Koh Ker excavations as part of the interactive outreach initiatives. (Credit: Dr. D. Kyle Latinis)
Ethnographic and Ethnoarchaeological training with S. T. Foo at Kampong Chhnang traditional pottery making village. (Credit: Dr. D. Kyle Latinis)
Mr. Michael Ng briefing field school participants at the Archaeology Unit office, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, in Singapore (Credit: Dr. Ea Darith)
Field School students at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak institute. (Credit: Dr. Ea Darith)
Field school students giving a group presentation. (Credit: Loh Joo Yong)