Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) has been crucial in archaeological digs and research, saving time and reducing labour, according to participants of a March 13-16 training course on the geophysical locating method, conducted by APSARA National Authority (ANA), the governmental body in charge of the Angkor Archaeological Park.

The four-day GPR course was completed by six ANA technical officers from the departments of Conservation of Monuments and Preventive Archaeology (“DCMPA”); and Water, Forestry and Infrastructure Management (“DWFIM”).

The ANA said the course – conducted with support from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation (KCHF) – focused on the theoretical and practical aspects of imaging the subsurface of Angkor Archaeological Park.

The DWFIM’s Rom Vichet reflected on analysing data obtained during the course with a Korean archaeological geophysicist from National Research Institute of Culture Heritage (NRICH). Changes across soil layers could reveal a former waterway or item buried for a very long time, he remarked.

The DCMPA’s Boeut Sopak commented that – while not yet perfect – GPR certainly offers a more accurate way to determine where to dig, which she stressed saves significant time and labour.

The participants expressed content with the amount of knowledge acquired from the training; lauded trainers’ efforts to explain and motivate; and thanked the ANA and KOICA for the opportunity, requesting that the two institutions hold more courses for the staff of the former.