U.S. Mission Thailand Supports Conservation of Thailand’s Cultural Heritage in Mae Hong Son

U.S. Mission Thailand Supports Conservation of Thailand’s Cultural Heritage in Mae Hong Son

For Immediate Release
March 2, 2022

On March 2, the U.S. Mission to Thailand announced a $220,000 U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) award to Silpakorn University for the conservation of ancient log coffins of Phi Man Long Long Rak Cave, Mae Hong Son.

Chargé d’Affaires Michael Heath presented the grant to the senior leadership of Silpakorn University and Project Director Prof. Dr. Rasmi Shoocongdej from the Faculty of Archaeology, alongside the Deputy Governor of Mae Hong Son Mr. Suebpong Nimpoonsawat. Through this AFCP grant, Silpakorn University’s Faculty of Archaeology will restore ancient log coffins and other archaeological finds, design a walking path inside Phi Man Long Long Rak Cave, and foster technical exchanges in wood conservation with American experts.  This project will encourage local youth and ethnic communities to be involved with, and take pride in, their heritage. To connect the past to the present, community training will teach the next generation about the prehistoric techniques of weaving, lacquerware, basketry, and wood carving. In addition to preserving ancient heritage, this project could also be a prototype for new design products with the potential to create economic benefits for local communities. On the international level, the project will serve as an example of best practices in cave conservation and how communities can help safeguard their archaeological heritage.

“This project will help us learn more about the people of Northern Thailand and how they lived through the artifacts and cultural heritage that they left behind.  America’s roots in Thailand run deep, as does our respect and appreciation for Thailand’s rich culture,” said Chargé d’Affaires Michael Heath.

Since 2001, the AFCP program has supported 20 projects throughout Thailand, totaling over $2.5 million U.S. dollars.  This is the third AFCP grant to Silpakorn University, following archaeological heritage management at Ban Rai and Tam Lod rock shelters in Mae Hong Son, and the documentation of the Ramayana mural paintings at Wat Suthat Thepwararam in Bangkok.

Download more photos here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1KehJn6JOVuL4UWzQChgY9IWg_wJOxHNH