Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lovely lovely maps

The map for Preah Vihear province
I always carry a map on my travels throughout Cambodia. Tonight my map collection increased by a further 16 maps, bought from Carnets d'Asie bookshop at the French Cultural Centre. Why you may ask? Well, I spotted these on the new CISARK website and they are incredible. The 16 Carte Archeologique du Cambodge maps cover all the provinces of Cambodia where archaeological sites can be found, and there are plenty. Produced by the Ministry of Culture and EFEO, the maps give the positions of all the major temple sites and much more besides, in Khmer and French versions. They were produced between Oct 2006 and June 2007, so have been out for a while but today was the first time I'd seen them, in the flesh. They each cost $3 except the Siem Reap map at $5, and served by the adorable Dary at Carnets, I simply had to buy the whole collection. The detail is amazing and represents a major step forward in identifying the locations of Cambodia's temple heritage, though the maps aren't the complete picture. They could be improved with the addition of town and village names alongwith roads to provide more context, while I'm aware of temple sites that aren't shown on at least one of the maps and which I hope to visit to back up my suspicions in late March. Nevertheless, if you are a temple-nut like me, these maps must be in your collection.

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