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Memot Centre for Archaeology  (MCA)

MCA Building, museum in Memot, Kampong Cham Province

The Memot Centre for Archaeology was founded in 1999 by HE Chuch Phoeurn, Ministry of Fine Arts, Cambodia, and Dr. Gerd Albrecht, DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) in cooperation with the Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA) in Phnom Penh and the German Embassy. The aim was to encourage the study of prehistory in Cambodia by creating an independent Khmer working group and to help with the education of locals, officials and students in national heritage. In the initial phase the work of the MC is advised and financed by foreign experts and organizations as well as private donors.

 

Going back to 1995, HE Chuch Phoeurn initiated contact with the German Embassy in Phnom Penh. A relationship between the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and the University of Tuebingen in Germany was established, headed by Chuch Phoeurn and Gerd Albrecht. The primary goal of the resulting collaborative program was to train students of the Department of Archaeology in the study of prehistory and field archaeology. Following coursework at the University a group of German professors trained a group of students in the techniques of excavation, methods of making site plans, and procedures of find treatment and analysis. The circular earthworks found in the red soil area of eastern Kampong Cham province, then one of the only mine-cleared area in rural Cambodia, were taken as the central focus for this site-training program as well as for research projects in the future.

 

Wishing to give the recent graduates of the Department of Archaeology the opportunity to expand their understanding and skills and to create more independence in working, Gerd Albrecht then conceived the establishment of the Memot Centre for Archaeology (MCA). Using a ruined house in the grounds of the Memot District Office in Kampong Cham Province, a museum and office building was set up. Memot is centered in the Cambodian red soil area, surrounded by many historic and prehistoric sites. Renovation began in October 1999 and was completed in January 2000, with support of Chuch Phoeurn, Gerd and Barbara Albrecht from DAAD, Hor Lat as Dean of the Faculty of Archaeology, the German Embassy in Cambodia and private German donors. 

Funded by Heinrich Boell Foundation, Germany, an exhibition was incorporated within the MCA building in 2002, the Memot Archaeological Museum. 

 

To distribute research information, booklets (on Satum and Memot), flyers and posters have been published in Khmer and English for officials, students and local people to understand the value of the Cambodian heritage. These are available at a number of outlets - the MCA offices at Memot and at the Ministry of Culture in Phnom Penh; further at Reyum Institute of Arts and Culture (www.reyum.org), and at the National Museum of Cambodia, both Phnom Penh.

 

MCA is a non-profit research unit of the Ministry of Culture, but has no public budget. All project work is based on private or institutional foreign donors. For any more information and if you want to support please contact the Centre via <farchaeorufa@online.com.kh> or by letter to: P.O. Box 2190, Phnom Penh 3, Cambodia.