This archeological center opened in 1999 in hopes of bolstering the study of archeology in Cambodia. The Memotian culture thrived 2,500 years ago and wasn’t really studied before the 1960s.

Archeologists know very little about what Cambodia was like before Angkor Wat was founded. Memot represents the best effort to crack open the country’s ancient history. The Memot museum and excavation site was founded with help from German archeologist, Henrrich Böll.

The excavations vary, but they include a number of prehistoric circular sites concealing a wealth of Iron Age tools and ceremonial pieces. Some of the newer digs have revealed ancient cemeteries that shed light on the kind of religious climate that persisted in Cambodia long before the advent of Buddhism.

One of the biggest problems in recent years has been convincing locals that these excavations are valuable to the community as a whole. Too often, a site is discovered by farming family and then is heavily looted before experts can begin a dig. While most of the artifacts are stone, iron and bronze, golden ornaments are occasionally unearthed.

Memot Center of Archaeology’s primary goal is to educate the local community while training up archeologists to continue the work begun in the 1990s. This is a good opportunity for tourists to support Cambodian preserving heritage.

In brief

What is it? An archeological dig in Memot, Cambodia.

Opening hours: 09:30 to 16:30, Monday to Friday.

Entrance fees: no entrance fee, but donations are welcomed.


Where: Memot district in Kampong Cham, Cambodia.

How to get there: take a moto or hire a car from anywhere in Memot district, which is a lengthy 10-plus hour road trip from Phnom Penh.