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
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 <email@example.com> or by letter to: P.O. Box 2190, Phnom
Penh 3, Cambodia.