Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Catching up with Cristiano

Cristiano and myself at our first meeting in 2006, I'm wearing the krama
I had lunch with an old friend today, Cristiano Calcagno, who was in town on one of his rare visits from his home in Kompong Thom. As he showed me his scars from an accident he suffered last September that was no too dissimilar to my own broken elbow I suffered as a teenager, he also informed me that the fruits of his labours, mapping all the ancient sites in the province of Kompong Thom, is finally finished and looks likely to be published by his old work colleagues at GTZ, sometime early next year. Fantastic news. I know that Cristiano has been working on his project for the last few years, visiting every pagoda and practically every village in the province where he's based, searching for ancient temples (prasats), mounds, dikes, holes in the ground, you name it. He's located well over 400, including quite a few that have never been recorded elsewhere. This man is passionate about his research I can tell you. I first met him in 2006 after a flurry of emails and we went on a discovery trip to Phnom Chi a couple of years ago, searching for old temples of course. He's also contributed to my book, To Cambodia With Love, so it's only fair that I mention his book too. I'll tell you more when it's published.

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