Archaeological Sites in the Red Soil Area,
Kampong Cham Province and Vietnam (click to enlarge 550kB)

Research History

 In 1959, Louis Malleret described circular earthworks with outer walls and inner ditches as a new category of prehistoric sites in Cambodia. He listed 17 earthworks of this type in the red soil region east of the Mekong in the Kampong Cham Province and adjacent Vietnam. In 1962, Bernard Philippe Groslier excavated in a circular earthwork near Memot, later called Groslier site, and named this civilisation “Mimotien”.

Research on these earthwork sites resumed only in 1996, with an examination of later named Krek 52/62 site by Yasushi Kojo and students of the Royal University of Fine Arts, Phnom Penh (RUFA). More intensive fieldwork started at the end of 1996 at the same site and continued to present. Surveys and soundings of other sites in the Krek and Memot districts were also undertaken. Within the framework of a long-term training program in field archaeology at the Royal University of Fine Arts, Phnom Penh, conducted by the German Academic Exchange Service, many seasons were spent at the site surveying, mapping, and excavating. This work is being continued by the Memot Centre for Archaeology.

During the fieldwork, many new sites were located and identified. Already 36 of the huge prehistoric villages are known in the red soil area of Cambodia and the number is increasing every year.



What is a Circular Earthwork?

Excavation by Groslier in 1962 (photo courtesy of Michele Pirazzoli)