Recent Archaeological Research in Lao PDR
Thongsa Sayavongkhamdy

Archaeology and Anthropology
Australian National University

My presentation will try to bring information to these three questions:

1. How the archaeological research is organised in Lao PDR?
2. What is the recent archaeological research?
3. What are the perspectives of archaeological research in Lao PDR?

1. For the first question, the mandate of the Department of Museums and Archaeology (DMA), Ministry of Information and Culture (MIC) will be briefly presented. The DMA is the leading governmental organization that deals with four inter-related issues: 1. Creation and development of museums; 2. Protection of national antiquities; 3. Conservation of national cultural heritage and 4. the archaeological research. Policy, legislation, organization and programmes will be briefed.

2. The recent archaeological research will briefly present the results from survey and excavation that have been conducted at these sites: 1. Tam Hua Pu (LPB Province), Tam Nang An (LPB Prov), Plain of Jars (Xieng Khuang Prov), Lao Pako (Vientiane Prov), Megalithic stones of Muong Hua Muong (Hua Pan Prov), Tam Hang (Hua Pan Prov), Pu Bia (Saysomboun Special Zone), Xepon (Savannakhet Prov) and Phe Phen of Nam Theun 2 Hydroelectric Project (Khammuane and Bolikhamsay Prov).

3. The concerns for the future are of double fold: firstly the national capacity building and lastly the current trends of thematic research, in particular the matters that would bring light to the birth of an agriculturalist society in Southeast Asia. This theme is related to the peopling of the region and more specifically the migrational movements of the human expansion within the Asian continent.