Archaeology Dept studying ancient Bagan rural dwellers from over 800 years ago

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A temple in Bagan, one of the most famous tourist attractions in Myanmar. Photo: Khine Set Wai

the Archaeology Department of Mandalay University is studying the lifestyle of rural dwellers who lived more than 800 years ago in Bagan region, Mandalay, said Dr. Pyae Phyo Kyaw, a lecturer at the Department of Archaeology, Mandalay University, Myanmar.
The department is studying the lifestyle of Bagan rural dwellers, because the lifestyles of elite groups, such as the royalties, commanders and the rich of that period are known only.
The research will be conducted for five years between 2017 and 2023.
“When we study the culture of ancient Bagan, we only found the record of the lifestyle of elite groups. Therefore, we will now study the life of rural dwellers that supported the urban elite of that period. The five-year project will research how they lived, where they obtained water for agriculture, what they ate, etc.”
The five-year research project is being conducted with the assistance of the officials and local staff of the Archaeology, National Museum and Library Department under the Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs. As per the archaeology practice, the researches were conducted based on ancient evidences.
“We don’t expect much output from this five-year project within a year, and the public wouldn’t be interested in it. However, we will be able to find out the basics about Bagan and its system,” he added.
The project expects to uncover the socio-economic and customs of the people living in Bagan region 800-900 years ago. Research results presently in hand were based on literature and stone inscriptions, so the evidences and proofs would be a bit weak. The research will conduct two field trips a year and the research findings will be published once a year. The 2017 research findings were already issued, it is learnt.


Khine Set Wai

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