New results in Cambodia

2011 Jun 15

The findings were presented by Dr. Zsuzsanna Renner, director general of the Hungarian Southeast Asian Research Institute, at the conference of the International Coordinating Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Site of Angkor, held at Siem Reap. The Hungarian Indochina Company, founded by the collector Dr. István Zelnik, began a complex research project aimed at the natural and built heritage of the region in 2009. The scientific background for the undertaking has been provided by the Hungarian Southeast Asian Research Institute, which was also founded by the collector.

The Institute and the Company also took part in the international LiDAR project conducted at Angkor and Koh Ker, which is a survey using special aerial photography of the terrain and the vegetation of the region, as well as surface and subterranean built structures. The head of the Institute hopes that the results from the LiDAR survey will make an important contribution to ongoing heritage protection and archaeological exploration in Koh Ker. During its exploration of what was once the ephemeral capital of the Khmer Empire, the Hungarian Indochina Company documented 73 inscribed stone tablets, and the Institute launched a separate epigraphy programme for the translation and interpretation of the texts. The programme attracted a great deal of interest at the cultural heritage protection conference with the first of its publications, which presented inscriptions that had not been published previously (Chhom, K., Inscriptions of Koh Ker I. Publications of the Hungarian Southeast Asian Research Institute). Under a cooperation agreement between the Institute and the University of Sydney, an Australian researcher will also join the archaeological programme in Cambodia who will also contribute a paper to the representative publication about Koh Ker. The university will also cooperate on research into ceramics, which will also be supported by APSARA, the Cambodian cultural heritage protection authority.