by Noel Hidalgo Tan
Senior Specialist in Archaeology, Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SEAMEO SPAFA), Thailand
The participants were made up of both lecturers and students from the Department of History and Archaeology, many of whom already had some archaeological experience and so the actual training was really a matter of refining systems and methodologies. The first day and a half were made up of lectures covering rock art in Southeast Asia and the detailed recording of rock art followed by two days of field recording at Pak Lai district. After learning the basics using recording forms, the participants started doing field recording themselves, developing their own shorthand and system once the understood the basic principles.
After the ground surveys, we also found many anthropogenic cupules in the area. Cupules are not all that common in Southeast Asia, so it’s interesting to find so many of them here. We ended up recording five distinct sites in the area. Along the way we used a variety of recording techniques, including drone photography, making silicon casts and 3D scanning. Another part of the training involved interviews with the local communities to understand the stories and histories associated with the rock art.
Also, if you don’t follow me on Instagram, here is a short video that I put together about the programme:
Rock Art Training and Recording Petroglyphs in Laos
Again, my thanks to the Lao National Commission for Unesco, SEAMEO SPAFA and the Department of History and Archaeology, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Laos for putting together this programme. Hopefully it will not be too long again before I return to Laos!
The original article can be read here: Rock Art Training and Recording Petroglyphs in Laos