Yashodhara no. 6: January - June 2002

Infrastructures in Angkor Park

At the end of the first semester 2002, the road of the hotel zone is done at 60%. It is 60-meter width and boardered by 18-meter road verges on each side. The verges are covered over 6 meters by laterite soil and the surface main road cover will be in asphalte. At the same period, the bridge accross the Siem Reap river is done at more than 50%. The bridge is 33 meters long and 11 meters width.

In order to facilitate the traffic in Angkor Park, we are developing a temporary car park under the trees at the East of Phnom Bakeing temple. In the future, we plan to develop more car parks in the other main temples of Angkor.

The APSARA Authority is preparing a new square in front of Angkor Wat. On this Angkor Wat square, we plan to develop access roads, car parks, drink shops, handicraft shops, visitor information center, resting place and rescue health facilities.

For this purpose, it is planned to build a new short-cut road from the west of Angkor Wat main entrance and to keep the existing road along the moats free from cars allowing visitors to walk, sit, rest and enjoy Angkor Wat scenery.

Therefore, the priority of APSARA Authority is to built a road behind the Angkor Wat square, starting from the Police Heritage Headquarters in direction to the West and turning to the North until it meets the road to the airport at Tropeang Seh village crossroad. This road will be 634 meters long and 7 meter width, temporary covered by laterite soil.

 

Maintenance in the Park

The maintenance team of APSARA Authority had planned to build up a wooden scaffolding to consolidate the western façade of the Bakan in Angkor Wat. One side of one beam and two columns of the Bakan were fissured and consequently the façade was threaten to collapse. The wooden scaffolding is entirely completed now. In addition, we will note down the plan of the the western façade before starting the restauration.

Emergency consolidation should be a daily duty of the maintenance team. Due to lack of daily maintenance, temple old age and rain falling through the walls, the construction in bricks are badely threaten and fall down.

In the same time, cutting and removing roots of small trees is also an important work of the maintenance team. Trees growing on the stones must be removed before they grow too big and damage seriously the temples.

Wooden wall suports for the Southeast library of Bakong temple

 

Restoration Work Sites

Preah Ko worksite

The project of Preah Ko worksite is a joint project of APSARA Authority with GACP (German Apsara Conser-
vation Project). This project has already runned for a year.The APSARA Authority is responsible for the payment of the local and technical workers’ salaries and the purchase of all equipment available in the country. On its side, GACP provides technical consultants and the necessary equipments bought outside the country. Up to day, the Preak Ko worksite is under the responsibility of two Cambodian technicians managing every day a team of 20 workers.

 
Angkor Wat western Embankment worksite

The work on this site begun on January 8th 2002 with the Italian Consulting Firm I.Ge.S.s.n.c (Structural Geotechnical Engineering). Sixty meters of embankment fell down into the western moat of Angkor Wat in September 1997. The restoration project is under I.Ge.S.s.n.c and APSARA Authority’responsibility with a UNESCO funding.

 

Pre Rup worksite

This is the continuation of the Pre Rup restoration and maintenance project. This phase focus on the restoration of specific damaged parts of five towers on the upper foundations. As for the Angkor Wat embankment, the Italian team is responsible of the technical aspect while APSARA Authority takes on charge the financial aspect.

 

Banteay Srey worksite

The project “Conservation of Banteay Srey” which is a joint project with APSARA Authority and Swizland Government has officially started at the beginning of July 2002. The project is planned for a three-year period, from 2002 to 2004. It focus on the conservation and improvement of the site as described below:
i. Restoration and maintenance of the temple;
ii. Increase knowledge about the temple and its surrounding history;
iii. Prepare landscaping for the temple surroundings and protect natural environment of the temple.
In the official agreement, APSARA Authority is on charge of the workers’ and local technicians’ salary payment and the purchase of equipment available in the country. In addition to the 24 guards, APSARA Authority has selected 19 more workers among villagers living around Banteay Srey temple.

Preah Ko

Angkor Vat

Angkor Vat

Pre Rup

Opening ceremony of the Banteay Srei Worksite

Interviews with local villagers to work at the Banteay Srei Worksite

 

Research Work Sites

The Japanese Government Team for Safeguarding Angkor (JSA) plans to develop research about the original form and historical development phases of the area in front of the Royal Palace of Angkor Thom, especially the northern part of Prasat Suor Prat. This research includes studies on various fields such as landscape, road network and hydraulic system. For this purpose, the JSA team has already excavated many places in the Northern part of Prasat Suor Prat and studied topography in front of the Royal Palace. A workshop was held to share experiences with experts involved in these specific fields.

Excavation pit in front of Prasat Suor Prat

 

Research

A new archaeological research project on ”Urbanization of Angkor area in ancient times” is being developed by both APSARA Authority and the University of Sydney. For this first phase, photographs are taken from ultra-lights flying approximately at 200 meters high from the ground. The survey area is North of Angkor Thom. This method of research gives good assistance to ground research and helps to save time.

The Japanese National Research Institute of Cultural Property is supporting a research project in Ta Nei temple which was chosen as an experimental centre. After an agreement was signed with APSARA Authority, the research regarding the temple surroundings and the methods of stones protection and cleaning proceeded well during the first 2002 semester (see Yashodhara Number 5). The technical staff of APSARA Authority has the responsibility of a daily monitoring at Tanei temple while three times a year, Japanese experts from the National Research Institute of Cultural Property come for technical assistance.

The research conducted on the temple surroundings consists on rainfall, temperature and humidity measuring as well as wind velocity and direction. For the cleaning and protection techniques of the temple stones, mixed chemical products are used to kill the moss without damaging the stones. The technique is first tried on stones without carving and so far we got good results even if more experimentation and monitoring are necessary. According to the agreement between the both Institutes on National Technical Training, a Cambodian technician will follow a 11-day study trip in Tokyo, Japan. This main objectif of this study trip is to learn from the experience of The National Research Institute for Cultural Property.

Installation of a micr-climate measuring gauge at Ta Nei temple

Stone cleaning and protective treatment

 

Training

The APSARA Authority is still leading, for the third consecutive year, two-week study trips in Siem Reap for archaology students. The APSARA Authority provides the pedagogical framework to the students of the Faculty of Archaology by giving lectures, providing advisors for thesis and conducting field trips to Angkor.

This is the second collaboration between APSARA Authority and the Ministry of Tourism which provide short training sessions for tourist guides.This training sessions consists of three weeks with 56 participants from different tourism agencies with French, Japanese and English speaking.

The 5-month Ta Nei III training program is now completed (see Yashodhara Number 5). At the end of May, was held the Closing Award Ceremony under the auspice of His Excellency General Director of APSARA Authority at the Ta Nei Training Centre. The APSARA Authority would like to express its best thanks to the national and international institutes which suport this training program.

Lecture to archaeology students at O Thma Dap, an ancient stone quarry

Lecture to tourist guides at vat Atvea temple

The closing Diploma Ceremony

The 25 Ta Nei III Diploma Students

 

Inscriptions Rubbing

At the beginning of the second semester 2002, we have started the first step of the inscription rubbing campaign in Angkor Thom area. It should be finished at the end of 2002 All the inscriptions which are already rubbed, will be photographed with a digital camera and kept in computerized data base.

 

 

Sport

The Siem Reap Province has always organised yearly football matches for the public. This year, govenmental and private institutions, national and international organizations have played matches for championship selection. The APSARA Authority’s as well as other institutions’ fooball teams have participate in a forward season match. The footballers of APSARA Authority are technical staff from different departement employed in Siem Reap and Angkor. As an experience exchange, the APSARA Authority’s football team has participate in freindly matches with other teams.

 

 

Traditions

These pictures show various ceremonies that the villagers in Angkor have always celebrated. These ceremonies constitute the abstract heritage of the region but are being abandoned and in danger.


For the last two years, the APSARA Authority’s social research team has been working on improving our knowledge and understanding about the local tradition and custom in the various villages of Angkor.

Annual homage to Neak Ta reach in Angkor wat

Funerals at Prasat Char Village

The Chansokirisot Ceremonty for prolonging life in Kok Tnot village

 

Official Visits

In early 2002, Angkor receives the official visits of the following international delegations:

 

Two-day visit of His Excellency Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister of the Republic of India.

Two-day visit of Her Royal Highest Princess Ann, Queen of the United Kingdom.


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