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Ref ID: 36662
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Heng, Piphal
Phon, Kaseka
Heng, Sophady
Title: De-exoticizing Cambodia's archaeology through community engagement
Date: 2020
Source: Journal of Community Archaeology and Heritage
Notes: Special Issue: Current Archaeological Practice in Southeast Asia: Collaboration, Engagement, and Community Involvement in Field Research
Abstract: French colonizers introduced archaeology to Cambodia with the emphasis on the restoration of Angkor monuments. The Cambodian public’s perception of archaeology as a field of the exotic, populated exclusively with international researchers, is fuelled by misconceptions of the discipline. Public awareness is hindered by the lack of heritage education outreach and human resources, and the excessive focus on Angkor. In this paper we argue that the recent increase in the visibility of archaeology through its expansion beyond the Angkor region, public outreach efforts, the rise of social media, and dedicated community engagement has helped de-exoticize Cambodian archaeology and make it meaningful to communities beyond other archaeologists, looters, or hired labourers for international research. Community members participating in archaeological research can serve as valuable mediators who convey the objectives of archaeological research and its raisons d'être to their communities as part of the process.
Volume: 7
Number: 3
Page Start: 198
Page End: 214