Heritage Watch Projects


The trade in antiquities is a serious problem that confronts all nations. Unfortunately the problem has been highlighted in Southeast Asia, especially in Cambodia with the loss of many impressive Angkorian sculptures. This trade is not restricted to impressive sculptural pieces but also more portable artefacts such as glass and stone beads, prehistoric tools and ceramics. The theft of these artefacts is just as damaging as the removal of sculpture from temples.

The archaeological record is destroyed as sites are looted. All knowledge of where artefacts came from is lost. This problem is especially alarming in Cambodia where very little prehistoric archaeological research has been undertaken. Here we are losing the opportunity to understand the rise of the greatest historical power in the region.

HeritageWatch has launched a number of initiatives, detailed elsewhere on this site that address the problem of the destruction of Cambodia’s heritage. The mission of HeritageWatch is clear, the cessation of the illegal antiquities trade in Southeast Asia.

Reducing Demand

Looting is a poverty driven crime - if you truly value Cambodian art, the worst thing you can do is buy it. HeritageWatch is working hard to get this message across, both in Cambodia and abroad... Read More


Reducing Supply

HeritageWatch is attacking the supply end of the antiquities trade through an ongoing nationwide public awareness campaign... Read More


Monitoring and Documenting the Antiquities Trade

DATABASE OF LOOTING INCIDENTS Documenting previous looting is an important, if challenging, first step in fighting the illicit antiquities trade. Due to the clandestine nature of the this trade, all quantification's must be circumstantial... Read More


Sustainable Development and Heritage Preservation

Heritage Watch has launched an innovative project of heritage protection and poverty reduction at one of Southeast Asia’s largest temple complexes, the ancient Khmer capital of Koh Ker... Read More


Protection of Historic Architecture

Over the past year, HeritageWatch has focused its efforts on preserving the country’s archaeological sites, but the ongoing destruction of historical architecture— especially structures from the Colonial period and the Sangkum Reastr regime of the 1950s—has demanded action... Read More


Rescue Excavations and Training at Wat Jas

Early in 2006, HeritageWatch began rescue excavations at the 2000 year-old site of Wat Jas, a large and important center during the Iron Age. Starting in late 2005, it was heavily targeted by looters seeking the ceramics, tools, and beads found in its burial grounds... Read More


Preserving the Past through Play: The Cambodian Looting Epidemic, Conservation, Learning Games and the Looter! Project

Designed to teach both international tourists and local Khmer about the rampant looting of historic and prehistoric archeological sites plaguing Cambodia today, funding is sought to complete work on a educational... Read More


Heritage for Kids

Heritage Watch is introducing a new initiative called Heritage for Kids in an effort to stimulate an appreciation of heritage and culture at a young age and to highlight the importance of heritage... Read More

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