I’ll be going to Thailand in 2014 (not sure exactly when yet – but probably late January or early February). Below is a brief description of what I’ll be doing (just for your information).
The rural Thai village of Ban Non Wat is a key archaeological site for understanding the origins of the Angkor Empire. You’ll help map the area, look for new prehistoric sites for excavation, photograph and measure finds from completed excavations and participate in new excavations.
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.
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.
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.