This will be interesting
NMV Lecture: The Early Buddhism of Northeast Thailand and Central Laos
Archaeology and Art of the 6th to 11th Centuries CE
Presented by Stephen A. Murphy
Date: Thursday 15 July 2010
Time: 10 am
Location: National Museum Bangkok, Auditorium
Donation: 100 baht NMV members/200 baht non-members
No need to book in advance. Just turn up at the door!
The arrival of Buddhism represents a watershed moment in the origins and development of the early cultures and civilisations of Southeast Asia. New forms of sacred art, iconography and architecture blossomed and the religion acted as a catalyst for social change and the rise of more sophisticated methods of political rule. In northeast Thailand and central Laos, this is best illustrated by the emergence of the sema stone tradition, which represents the most comprehensive surviving evidence of early Buddhism in the region. These monumental stone boundary markers, which could be ornately carved and decorated, fulfilled the essential task of marking out of Buddhist sacred space within which important rituals and ceremonies could take place. Other important archaeological evidence comes in the form of Buddha images carved into rock-faces or cast in bronze, votive tablets and inscriptions. Settlement patterns and archaeological sites also play a vital role in understanding the movement and nature of Buddhism in the region, with moated sites being of particular importance. Architectural remains from these sites such as stupas, ubosots and viharas provide vital insights into the Buddhism of this period.
Analysing and mapping over 100 sema locations, moated sites, earthen mounds and rock shelters, this lecture will trace the spread and evolution of Buddhism throughout the Khorat Plateau, a region that today encompasses northeast Thailand and lowland areas of central and southern Laos.
Stephen A. Murphy is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Art and Archaeology, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Over the past three years he has carried out extensive archaeological survey work in the regions of northeast Thailand and central Laos as well as co-directing an excavation in Nakorn Sawan province. He also works as a freelance editor for River Books. Stephen A. Murphy introduced us to ?archaeology in action? at last year?s Dvaravati Symposium. This is an opportunity to learn more about his work in a wider context.
For further information, please contact Anette Pollner on 084 942 1012 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the NMV
Established forty years ago, the National Museum Volunteers (NMV) serves the National Museum Bangkok under the auspices of the Department of Fine Arts. Comprising Thai and foreign members, the NMV is dedicated to the informed understanding of the arts of Thailand through a variety of educational and cultural activities.
One of the main functions of the NMV is to offer foreign language tours of the museum in English, French, German and Japanese. Members are given training at an annual Guiding Workshop and study program.
Other activities include study groups, excursions and study trips in and around Bangkok and to SE Asian countries, and an annual lecture series on Thai art and culture which is open to the public.
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Textual analysis and comparative discussion on early Buddhist sects and texts.
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