On the Expedition
By studying Southeast Asia's past, you'll learn how agriculture, technology, and changing climates affect civilizations.
The rural Thai village of Ban Non Wat is a key archaeological site for understanding the origins of the Angkor Empire. You’ll help try and reconstruct pottery techniques and materials used by ancient people, work with the local community to enhance displays in the new learning center; in particular by documenting the history of the area and the dig site. You will photograph and measure finds from completed excavations and assist, through community interviews and training in schools, to develop the future, community integrated research direction of this project.
You’ll work closely with local people and have a chance to truly experience Thai village life. At the end of the work day you’ll be driven back to town to shop at the local market, check your e-mail, take a swim, and enjoy a delicious Thai dinner.
Meals and Accommodations
You’ll stay at the comfortable Phimai Inn, with a large swimming pool, hot showers, conventional Western plumbing, and air-conditioned rooms. Breakfasts and delicious Thai dinners will be served under the pavilion next to the swimming pool, and the hotel will provide lunches each day to take to the dig site. The hotel is close to Phimai center and there is easy access to the market (including a small supermarket), where you can buy Western favorites.
About the Research Area
The Origins of Angkor research area includes the very flat upper reaches of the Mun (pronounced “moon”) River system and the adjacent, dryer, gently rolling uplands. The countryside is sprinkled with villages, including the project site, Ban Non Wat, which translates as “Village of the Temple Mound.” Rice fields dominate the landscape, interspersed with groves. A range of bird species, from bee-eaters, to hawks, to water birds, inhabit the area.
Social life in rural Thailand is largely centred on the markets. Throughout the region you’ll see richly decorated Buddhist temples, with monks making their rounds for alms early in the morning. During January and February many of the temples have festivals open to the public.