Interviewing a Krueng Family

Ethno-Archaeological Survey of Phoum Svay


For a better understanding of prehistoric people, ethno-archaeological survey is one of the most essential methods for archaeologists to reconstruct the everyday life, the economy and cultural behavior of prehistoric people. In 2002, the MCA organized fieldwork with the Krueng ethnic minority group in Phoum Svay, Ou Chum district, Rattanakiri Province. The data collecting included mapping, census-taking and interviewing.


Phoum Svay is located around 30 kilometers to the north of the province capital Banlung. Rattanakiri is scarcely populated, and more than 50% of the inhabitants belong to minority groups. They live in villages in the fertile red-soil hills, with extensive forests, and spend their living more or less in the traditional way as farmers or swiddeners, who plant dry rice by shifting cultivation. Hunting and gathering fruits and plants from the forest is also essential for subsistence.


The data from the round village Phoum Svay can be compared with the prehistoric circular earthworks. We were able to estimate the ancient population, the seizes of fields used by shifting cultivation and even could find explanations for stone artifacts, which are common in the earthwork sites: The numerous shouldered stone adzes are tools to clear the ground before planting rice, the Krueng are still using an iron tool of the same shape.

Another Krueng village, Phoum K'meng, was surveyed by the MCA in 2003.

Clearing ground by using an iron adze