Field Training Program for Young Expert (season 2022.2-3)

Field Training Program was implemented at SPK from 19th February to 4th March 2022 for 2 weeks. Following members were participants of this program. This program was intended to instruct the conservation method of brick structures and archaeological/architectural research method and technique of the ancient Khmer site.


Trainers at site:

        Chan Vitharong (National Authority for Sambor Prei Kuk)

        So Sokuntheary (Norton University)

        Ouk Chimvichet, Ek Sochetha (Architecture, Royal University of Fine Arts)

        Ngov Kosal, Un Vutha (Archaeology, Royal University of Fine Arts)

        Chhum Menghong (National Cambodian Commission of UNESCO)

        Ishizuka Mitsumasa (Japanese Government Team for Safeguarding Angkor)


Online lecturers:

        Shimoda Ichita (University of Tsukuba)

        Uchida Etsuo (Waseda University)

        Motomura Mitsuyasu (Archaeological Research Institute of Kashihara)



        Yoshikawa Mai (Napura Works)



   Royal University of Fine Arts (Archaeology Course)

        Mr. Eng Nunorak

        Mr. Pith Tara

        Ms. Tao Marady

        Mr. Phan Kuthanuk

        Ms. Chhem Chheakmey

   Royal University of Fine Arts (Architecture Course)

        Mr. Tann Panha

        Ms. Voeurn Sokna

        Ms. Sam Paochhay

        Mr. An Somethea

        Ms. Pav Lydoeun

        Ms. Rey Chansunday

        Mr. Pen Channarak

   Norton University (Architecture Course)

        Ms. Bo Dalin

        Mr. Chheuy Rithea

        Mr. Non Sotheara

Daily Report of Training Program

Day 1: 19 February

-Departure from Phnom Penh to Kampong Thom at 7:30am 

-Arrived Kampong Thom Province at 11:30am at Sambor Village Hotel.


Meeting from 15:00 Evening

-  Greeting and massage from Director of JASA Nakagawa Takeshi

He explained his hypothesis on the historical and spiritual relationship between Sambor Prei Kuk and Bayon temple as follows. He was captivated by the octagonal shrines and the sculptural decoration of the Flying Palace in Sambor Prei Kuk. It is possible that the circular plane of the Central Tower in Bayon may be influenced by the octagonal shrines in Sambor Prei Kuk, and the central tower showed a resemblance to the Flying Palace which depicts an Indian-style palace and figures on the exterior of shrines. He imagined that the three-dimensioned Mandala composition at Bayon might have been developed by the inspiration of the fying court. He decided to go to Sambor Prei Kuk in order to confirm this hypothesis. The ethnic intent and genes were not settled at the bottom of history. They may suddenly appear again when the social foundation was shaken. Although the relationship between Sambor Prei Kuk and Bayon is not proofed by the physical evidences, he believe that the unprecedented development during the reign of Jayavarman VII was realized by the combination of many motifs in the history. The Late 6th early 7th century development of Sambor Prei Kuk was surely the cradle of the later Angkor civilization. This report shows sufficient evidence to validate that Sambor Prei Kuk was the direct origin and the earlier stage of Angkor art and architecture. 

- Briefing on the training program by Dr. Shimoda Ichita

He gave a very welcoming speech to the students and lecturers participating in this program. He explained that this program is supported by the Japanese government and conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts of Cambodian government. He explained about the contents and schedule of this program. He mentioned that he hoped that through this program, the students would be able to learn how to preserve and research Khmer heritage through practical works, and that they would be able to develop an interest in the protection of such heritage and be able to work in related fields in the future.

- Self- introductions from trainers and students.

-  Brief explanation on the field survey from Chan Vitharong

-  Remark on the dialy affair from Dr. So Sokuntheary

-  Remark on the accommodations from Yoshikawa Mai

- Lecture from Dr. So Sokuntheary on the following topics:

  1. Introduction history of SPK Archaeological group
  2. Previous Research and Conservation in the Past (EFEO)
  3. Previous conservation project in SPK (1998-2017)
  4. Human Resource and training program 
  5. Talking about her experience working at SKP
  6. Connection between temple and living heritage
  7. Sustainable Community development
  8. Preparing Nomination Dossier for World Heritage List


 -Lectured end 19:00pm and Dinner.

Day 2: 20 February

- Visited archeological site at Sambor Prei Kuk including Prasat Sambor Group and Prasat Yeay Poan Group which is guide as well as presented by Dr.So sokuntheary.

- At noon we had lunch together nearby the local site.

- After lunch break we left archeological site and visit at Kampong Chheuteal Institute of Technology for studying the architectural concepts design project

- We also visited the ancient city area.

- Around 15:00pm we returned to accommodation in order to prepare for the lecture.


-The lecture started at 16:30pm by Mr. Chan Vitharong. He lectured on the following items;

·      Showing the map of archeological site in SPK

·      Masterplan for conservation and development for community

·      Arts and Architecture

·      Ancient urban city in SKP

·      Architectural Surveying and assessment

·      Conservation and archeological

·      Cause of damages 

·      Preventive archeological survey

·      Site and archeological (Site Maintenance, Surface collection…)

·      Human resources development

·      Current conservation and activities

·      Current conservation policy

·      Future of SPK (challenges, conservation policy.)



-Lectured end 18:00pm and Dinner.

Day 3: 21 February

- After having a delicious breakfast, we leave to SPK around 8:00am to study the present condition of brick structures in more detail.

- Mr. Chan Vitharong instructed us at Yeay Poan Temples Group and Prasat Sambor Group. He explained the following issues;

·      The damage cause.

·      Restoration method.

·      Brick structures.

·      Intervention issues.

·      Method of consolidate archeology rescue.

Then, we got the explanation of the group works which will start from tomorrow. We separated two architecture teams and one archeology team. 

- At noon, we had a wonderful lunch break with professors nearby the local site.

- At 1:00pm we went to site again to study about site management, restoration, renovation and conservation guided by Mr.Seang Sopheak.

-Around 14:30pm we decided to go back to accommodation in order to prepare for the lecture.

-The lecture started at 16:30pm by Dr. Shimoda Ichita. He gave a lecture on the "Damage and Deterioration of Brick Structure and the Restoration Method" as follows.

·      Condition at the beginning of 20th century.

1.Before restoration we need to take a photo and cutting the trees, learned about construction and used method of conservation.

·      Why brick buildings are damaged/deteriorated? There are 2 factors:

1.Nature: trees fell down to the temples, balance and harmony monument and nature, damages by trees roots and disaster (flood….).

2.Human: Exploration of valuables, civil war, and development pressure (house construction, road construction, field extension).

·      What should we do for protecting brick structure?

1.  Weeding on towers.

2.  Support installations.

3.  Cutting trees (Remove roots structures…)

·      How to preserve the brick structure?

1.   He learned from previous work in Angkor Wat Monuments.

2.   Reconstruction (Return to original form with original/new materials).

3.   Restoration (Stabilization/consolidation).

4.   Preservation (Maintaining as present condition).

5.   Filling gaps of the brick joints and cracks.

6.   Partial dismantling and reassembling of fragile and Seformed Brickwork.

7.   Addition of brick Masonry for structural stability.

8.   Capping on top surface of brickwork.

9.   Restoration of Sandstone or adding new sandstone material.

·      Necessity human resources:

1.   Experts (Design, plan, management, record) (Architecture, Archeologist, Conservator, Structural engineer?

2.   Field staffs (Recording, measuring, brick works, stone works, operation)



-Lectured end 18:30pm and Dinner.

Day 4: 22 February

- We started the program with teamwork from today.

- After having nice breakfast, we leave hotel at 8:00am to the archeological site at SPK to do their first survey works.


[Architectural Team]

- When we arrived the site, Mr. Chan Vitharong explained all architecture students on the method of survey of the temple, its structural concept and some history lecture of N7, quick risk assessment of temples N9, N12, N13 and terrace of N1, it’s mean that they need to do reconstruction image before they start.   

- Dr. So Sokuntheary explained about how the temples were constructed from the old days throughout ancient history.

- After all introduction through both lecturers, we started our works including, sketching, measuring of the structures, and existing masterplan and floor plan.


[Archaeological Team]

- Archaeological team started the excavation work near N8 shrine in Pr. Sambor from Today.

- We learned the method and process of the preparation of excavation area.

   Confirmed the base point (x,y = 0,0) in the N1 shrine

   Sat up the reference point for our excavation work

   Sat up the excavation area

   Learned the usage of Auto Level Machine for measuring level

   Sat up the temporary zero level near excavation area


- Until 12:00pm, we had lunch all together at site survey, then we continued doing the survey until 15:00pm.


- After arriving hotel, lecture started at 16:30pm at hotel which focused about previous archeological survey at SPK.

- Dr. Shimoda Ichita illustrated today’s lecture as follows;

·      Previous archeological survey at SPK such as:

1.Previous drawings by H.Parmentier in 1927.

2.Archeological excavation areas until today.

3.Excavation at central terrace activities they found North Step of N1 the central terrace was destroyed.

4.According to excavated they found Pillar Holes were confirmed at East Side and Corner Shrines on the central terrace and it has drainage system as well.

5.They did the excavation of N10-W, N14-1 shrine, N14-2 shrine, excavation in front of N7 shrine, east gate of Inner Enclosure and excavation at east gate of middle enclosure (Confirming original gate structure and evidences of several Reuses)

·       By the excavation survey they can understand on:

1.Original form/design/technique of structures.

2.History (Modify/renovations) of structures.

3.Use (Function) of structures.

4.Relationship between other sites (temples)

5.Development of history.

·      Method of archeological excavation survey such as:

1.  Process of the excavation survey (Preparing excavation, setting excavation area, excavation, observation/discussion/recording, open trench and then close the trench, consolidation/stabilization and the last one was the filling back.

2.  Recording it has:

Ø   Recording subjects (Structure, Artifact, sedimentation)

Ø   Recorded by description, drawing and 3D model.

Ø   Recording system/Method in SPK.

Ø   Recording the position of unearthed artifacts/structures.

Ø   Plan drawing

Ø   Plan/Section drawing

·      Analyzing method:

1.     Studying and recording of excavated artifacts (Washing, writing number, finding same object).

2.     Connecting fragments.

3.     Reconstructing object.

4.     Recording artifacts.

5.     Photo recording.

6.     Drawing.

·      Earthenware and earthenware with red (or white) colored decoration.

·      Kundi/Kendi

·      Roof tile with holes and with projection.

·      Earthenware with decoration of khmer ceramics.

·      Khmer ceramics (non grazed, grazed stoneware Angkorian period)

·      Chinese Ceramics.

·      Khmer earthware.

·      Unearthed Structure.

·      Unearthed artifacts.



-Lectured end 18:30pm and Dinner.

Day 5: 23 February

- We continued the surveying and checking the error of the excavation setting.

- We clarified the check points by using a new method which is called theodolite measurement machine and level machine.

- We get the knowledge on the each type of deteriorations including cracked base, damage corner, reconstruction image, sketching damage wall etc.   


- We have a lovely lunch break together nearby the site.


- We continued the study on the restoration and measuring methods, and captured the image of detailed elevation so as to insert those images into 3D modeling software.


- 15:30pm, we left site and visited the Provincial Museum at Kompong Thom. We had a warm welcome from Ms. Sopheaktra who is working at this museum as a staff of Department of Culture and Fine Arts.

- She gave the lecture and guidance about the historical of exhibits mostly come from SPK zones, Angkor period and middle period.

- In particularly, she explained very detail on the style, architectural plan of each temple, excavation and conservation.



-After visit we had taken photo together and went back to hotel 18:00pm and Dinner.

Day 6: 24 February

- We left the hotel to SPK as usual at 8AM.

- Each group continued to do their work, learning throughout the introduction of 3D modeling software, the introduction how to do the monument evaluation survey, errors point detailed N7, reconstruction image, and quick risk assessment of temples N9, N12, N13 and terrace of N1and then detail shrine of terrace N1.

Surveying contour of soil compared with floor plan.   


- We had enjoyed the lunch break together nearby site.

- Then, we continued to survey the architectural plan, elevations, details, etc. 


- Around 15:30pm, we went back to hotel.


- They had lectured 16:30pm which focused about archeological survey at SPK site by Mr. Chum Mengghong. He had lectured on the previous archaeological survey at Sambor Prei Kuk as follows;

1. General idea for making survey on heritage site and archeologist must considered:

·  Step 1: What type of sites are you going to do a surveying? The date of site? What is the main purpose of your surveying?

· Step 2: Method of collection the data? How to interpret the data?

2. Type of site SPK have been categorized so far:

·  Pre-Angkor period (6th-7th centuries)

·  Ancient city town (settlement, city compound, temple complex, irrigation system, road system, and so on.)

·  Economic center of Chenla period.

3. Past excavation surveys in SPK at the temple complex and city complex.

4. Necessity before excavation

·  Must recognizing the elements inside the spatial city, primality survey inside the compound by making the inventory of temple, inventory of movable on objects, survey collection.

·  Setting the Bench Mark

·  Setting the site grid and trench layout.

·  Surface collection around the survey area

5.Interpreting SPK based on the archeological survey that he talked about:

·  Urban planning of ISANAPURA

·  Culture layer in the city area of ISANAPURA

·  Types of ceramic

6. Result of past excavation survey at eastern gopura of M65




- We enjoyed Dinner Party with many guests from Dept. of Culture and Fine Arts, and National Authority for Sambor Prei Kuk at hotel.



Day 7: 25 February

Each group continued their works at site.

[Architectural team]

Architectural team learned how to apply 3D modeling software for creating the elevation of strucure. Another team confirmed the reference point at N7, and creating reconstruction image. Then, we tried the quick risk assessment of brick structures; N9, N12, N13 and terrace of N1and then detail shrine of terrace N1.

Archaeological team did the survey for creating the contour lines of ground level and building floor plan.   


[Archaeological team]

We continued to excavate down in the ground 65cm from the natural level. In this level, during the excavation brick structure of N8, we has found three pieces sandstone columns (failed from the enclosed wall) and only some of brick that failed from the top and also from the enclosed wall. So we to continued digging in the the ground for find the brick structure from N8 tower to the enclosed wall.


Mr. Tharong gave the idea to open two more squares along the 6m from N8 tower for study the structure of the broken bricks of the enclosed wall. 


We had enjoyed the lunch break together nearby site.


- After finishing our survey at Pr. Sambor,  we visited some villages surround SPK guided by Dr. So Sokuntheary. 

- At 15:30pm, we went back to hotel and break for preparing dinner together as normally. 

Day 8: 26 February

As the same day we leave the hotel at 8am and arrived the site at 8:40 but today only archaeology team visited to the site.


[Archaeological team]

We continue digging the new trench outside the enclosed wall. We found in this trench two pieces of sand stone probably the pieces of the baluster falling from the wall. We record it and we continue digging.

At the old trench, we also continue digging and we see the wall which alternate between sandstone and bricks.

Around 9h30 we receive the students from Kompong Chheuteal Technology institute around 50 students which divided into 4 groups. Our trainer explainers explain them about our work and why we excavate here.


[Architectural team]

We stayed hotel and preparing the drawings which were surveyed at site by yesterday by Auto CAD.

And also arranged the data on the risk of each structures.


In the evening, Mr. Motomura Mitsuyasu (archaeological research Institute of Kashihara) give a lecture to all the student about Method of the archaeological excavation survey. He explains all the process of excavation Before/during and after excavation survey.

The process of excavation survey:

Administrative procedure for excavation survey

-          Preparation work

-           Excavation by heavy machine

-          Unearth the structure

-           Excavating the structure

-           Recording by Photo and Drawing

-           Recording by aerial survey, 3D

-          survey, 2D survey

-           Collecting samples for various analysis

-           Press release/Public explanation

-           Filling back/Cleaning


This lecture is very interesting and the trainers and trainee has a lot questions. 

Day 9: 27 February

Morning 7:30 we lect the hotel and visited the survey area around Prasat Sambor, N7 structure.

One of the group did the survey for creating the present plan of N7 structure.

Architectural teams took photos of each structure for diagnosis of the damage in Prasat Sambor.

Even after dinner, all students continued to creat the drawing at hotel.

Day 10: 28 February

We continued the group works at site.

[Archaeological team]

We continued digging and confirmed the brick pavement and foot of the wall of N8 shrine.

The students cleaned up pavement to observe the brick paving more clearly. The trench outside the inner enclosure wall, we found the additional structure in the late period.


We started a new trench name N2w45a to observe more clearly the enclosed wall which contain a pillar with decoration.

In this afternoon we found 2 artifacts:

-  A piece of ceramic (Earthen ware) in the trench N2w46 at the deep -168cm.

-  Black Sapphire stone in the trench N2w44 at the deep -226cm.

We recorded them and took photos, and then we continued the excavation at the trench N2w45.


[Architectural team]

We continued to creat the 3D visual model of the shrine N7 from the photo data which were taken by hand and drone use. Some members created the risk map of several shrines such as N9 and N12.

After lunch time, we got the instruction from Vitharong and Sokunthearyy on the crchitectural concepts and urban plan of Isanapura.


At 16:30, we got a lecture from Dr. So Sokuntheary about “The Model House and the Construction Rule in the Sombor Prei Kuk Protection Zoning”.

She showed the photo by drone the view of Sombor Prei Kuk zone and the zoning of protection site.

She explains how we limit the 3 zone of protection:

  • 1st zone no new house construction (temple zone)
  • 2nd zone 500 meter from 1st zone (No new house construction)
  • 3rd zone 1500 meter from 2nd zone (New house construction allow but no high building)

She taught us the administrative process of house construction in the Sombor Prei Kuk zoning and proposed model house. And we learned the difficulty to protect from the development pressure.


Day 11: 1 March

We continued the group works today.

[Archaeological team]

We excavated down the tranch area N2w46 until the same level as the floor around inner enclosure wall.

Several pieces of ceramics were unearthed.

We recorded the floor plan and elevation of inner wall.


[Architectural team]

We drafted the elevation of several brick shrines in Pr. Sambor. We used drone for recording the upper part of structure. Digitalizing the drawing by AutoCAD is progressing at site and hotel.


16:30- Lecture at Hotel

We got a lecture from Prof. Uchida on the stone and brick studies at Angkor and Sambor Prei Kuk.

His lecture was focus on the sandstone origin (quarry) and construction process, and the deterioration and its causes of stone and brick material.

The lecture was so interested for all students, and many questions related on the stone and brick were discussed after lecture.

Day 12: 2 March

We hold an Exchange Program between university students and Kompong Thom high school students at site. 25 high school students were join this program.

We separated two groups and explained our works to local students. Archaeological students were mainly explained on the process oc the excavation survey around N8 shrine and inner enclosure wall, and the unearthed artifacts. Archietectural students instructed the cause of destruction and protection methods of brick structure. In addition, we explained the usage of measurement machines and recording method.

It was an exciting experience both of students and exchange our understanding and feeling to this historical site.


After this program was finished, archaeological team returned to the work at excavation area, and continued the drawing of floor and section of excavated trench, and photo recordings.

Architectural team visited the North temple groups, Robang Romeas and Tamon, where were currently carried out the restoration works.

Day 13: 3 March

We stayed at hotel and summerized the collected data;

- Drawing the unearted artifacts, plan, elevation

- Degitalizing the each kind of drawings

- Photo recording the artifacts

- Preparing the presentation


At night, we had a wellfare party at the garden of hotel. We enjoyed the BBQ and exchanged our idea during the training program.

Day 14: 4 March

Finally we reached to the final day of this training program.

Participated students separated three groups, and made presentations.

One of the group, archaeological team, expressed their result on the excavation survey between N8 and Inner enclosure wall at Pr. Sambor. 

Other two groups, architectural teams, presented their results on the recording and assessment of the brick structures of N7, N8, N12, and N13. Presentation on the N7 was most detailed with the 3D model image of the structure which was created by photo images.

Lecturers gave the comments and questions on each presentations, and proposed some subjects to revise their results until the final report which will be submitted in next a week.


After the presentation, vice director of National Authority for Sambor Prei Kuk made a speech for expressing the thanks for this program by Japanese government. In addition, he handed the certificate letters to all participated students.


Finally, Japanese lecturure, Shimoda, gave a speech for surmmarizing and closing this program.

This program was completed with rich experiences!