The APSARA National Authority (ANA) held a three-day training course on “Archaeological Research Skills” to 37 of its officials and specialist staff. The June 26-28 workshop aimed to ensure they are capable of preparing and storing archaeological evidence from excavations in a safe, effective manner, said the ANA.

It explained that the course focused on the importance of archaeology to the understanding of history, and the role soil layers play in archaeological excavations. The attendees visited the main excavation site in the Angkor Park to gain a practical understanding of how to excavate, record layers of soil and document the entire process.

Im Sokrithy, archaeologist and director of the ANA’s Department of Research, Training and Communication, addressed the opening ceremony.

He noted that although the course was short, it provided much-needed tips and techniques for the officials and specialists who work directly at the excavation site, and also introduced several theories that would allow them to work to a uniform high standard.

“This course has made a significant contribution to their general knowledge of archaeology and history,” he said.

The ANA explained that the workshop was just one example of the close attention it pays to the upskilling of its officials.

In addition to conservation and restoration skills, it also provides first-aid training to tourism agents in order to ensure a safe environment for tourists visiting the Kingdom’s proudest cultural treasures.

ANA spokesman Long Kosal said on June 27 that the latest training aimed to instil a greater understanding of the importance of the Angkor Park’s value as a source of historical information through archaeological excavations.

The workshop was the result of an evaluation by the ANA’s training centre, he added.

“We evaluate the training needs of all of our staff, and assign or recruit trainers based on the most important demands. Our goal is always to improve the effectiveness of our management of the Angkor Archaeological Park,” he explained.

“We recruit both local and foreign instructors, depending on the requirements of each training course,” he added.