Common Heritage through Ancient Communication Networks in Mainland Southeast Asia. A Talk by Surat Lertlum



Since 2005, Thai and Khmer scholars have conducted research utilizing multi-disciplinary approaches, including archaeology, anthropology, geo-informatics, geo-physics and information technology, with the continued and generous support of the Thailand Research Fund (TRF). At the outset, the study focused on the royal roads from Angkor. The work of the international team has benefited from the results of remote sensing surveys, which have significantly helped the systematic ground trusting conducted during several campaigns in Cambodia, Thailand and Laos. The team, consisting of experts from Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, subsequently expanded the scope of its study to identify the cultural relationships involving Mainland Southeast Asia, based on ancient communication networks. This presentation will be centered on the cross-border, multi-disciplinary research on ancient communication networks in Mainland Southeast Asia, aimed at identifying all the remaining sections of ancient roads and communication networks in the region. The discussion will extend to cities connected by ancient roads and trails, as well as waterways serving as communication networks, revealing physical evidence of cultures interconnected by a complex range of different communication systems and the common heritage that ensued from these ancient networks.

Dr. Surat Lertlum is an expert on the applications of geo-informatics for cultural study in the Southeast Asia region. Currently, he is the director of ‘The Cultural Relationship Study of Mainland Southeast Asia (CRMA) Research Center’ located at Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy, in Nakhon Nayok, Thailand. After a BSc in Computer Science Engineering (Norwich University, USA), he pursued an MSc in Computer Science (The George Washington University, USA) and a Doctor of Technical Science in Computer Science (Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand). In 2004 he was awarded a Fulbright Visiting Scholar fellowship to UC Berkeley (USA), followed in 2005 and 2008 by Visiting Scholar fellowships to the Center for Southeast Asia Study (CSEAS), Kyoto University (Japan). Since 2005 he has conducted cross-border and cross-culture multi-disciplinary research collaborations between Thailand and Cambodia, with research projects now expanded to include Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar. Dr. Lertlum has published widely on topics ranging from forest mapping to the application of geo-informatics for the study of Southeast Asia’s cultures.

Date: Thursday, 11 January 2018
Time: 7.30 p.m.
Place: The Siam Society, 131 Asoke Montri Rd, Sukhumvit 21

Non-members donation: B200. Siam Society members, members’ spouses and children, and all students showing valid student ID cards are admitted free of charge. For more information, please contact Khun Arunsri or

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The Siam Society is deeply grateful to the James H.W. Thompson Foundation for its generous support of the 2016-2017 Lecture Series.