Per Sørensen

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Per Sørensen (1932–2015) was a pioneer in Southeast Asian archaeology who was director of the SIAS Lampang field research station over the five years of its existence.

Books by this author

Lampang Assessment

Revisiting a Classic Study of Field Research in Northern Thailand

  • Rediscovered research on Thailand and its environs from the 1970s. 
  • A time capsule of research before the advent of mass education and travel
  • Offers insights into the massive changes sweeping higher education today. 

The creation in 1969 of a field research station near Lampang in northern Thailand by the recently established Scandinavian Institute of Asian Studies was something of a gamble. The Vietnam War was spreading into Laos and Cambodia with a communist insurgency also growing in Thailand, not least in the north. Some scholars feared being compromised by Cold War schemes and maneuvers. Yet in the five years of the station’s existence a large number of Nordic scholars, often in partnership with Thai and other foreign colleagues, undertook research based at Lampang. Significant new research was initiated here, including archaeological excavations that rewrote the prehistory of mainland Southeast Asia and a mapping of the folklore and languages of upland minorities that helped decipher the linguistic history of the region’s lowland majority peoples.