HIST Delegation Visited Myanmar


Upon the invitation of Mr. Aung Aung Kyaw, Director of Archeology and National Museum Bagan Branch, Myanmar, HIST Delegation led by Mr. Hong Tianhua, Executive Deputy Director and Secretary-General of HIST, visited Bagan, Myanmar from 10 to16 December 2018. Other members of delegation include Associate Professor Wang Liming, Mr. Zhang Yunfeng and Dr. Li Dong, Senior Engineers at AIR, and Prof. Zhong Ruofei from Capital Normal University with his assistant Ms. Guo Jiao.

Bagan is a historical city and Buddhist cultural heritage area. It locates at central Myanmar and lies in the vast expanse of plains on the bend of the Irrawaddy river. During the Pagan kingdom’s height between 11th and 13th centuries, over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas, and monasteries were constructed in the Began plains alone, of which less than a third of them survive to the present day. Today, Old Bagan, specially the Began Archaeological Zone becomes one of the precious treasures of historical and cultural heritage of Myanmar.  The Burman government is preparing to nominate Bagan area, with all the Buddhist temples and pagodas, as a World Heritage site at the 43rd World Heritage Committee which was proposed to be held in the Republic of Azerbaijan on June-July 2019.

Under the influence of historical factors and natural disaster, conservation of Buddhist temples and pagodas in Began area faces numerous challenges while the reinforcement of restoration, preservation, and management is indispensable. The primary goal of HIST delegation was to provide decision support on management and preservation of Bagan cultural heritage sites to the Burman government through investigating the distribution as well as current status of cultural heritage sites in Bagan area, and discussion on data acquired by application of space remote sensing, aerospace remote sensing, and terrestrial laser scanning from Buddhist temples and pagodas. Both sides planned to clarify the details of collaborated project and sign the Memorandum on technical cooperation.

On the day of HIST delegation’s arrival, the two sides held meeting and reached an agreement on most key points of this visit, such as schedule of the visit, content of the Memorandum, and, most importantly, the duties and responsibilities of both parties on the collaborated project. Confirmation of undetermined contents was submitted to higher level authority of Mr. Aung Aung Kyaw to be clarified and approved.

Companied by experts from Bagan, the delegation did a field survey at the new and old town of Bagan, and visited several famous temples and pagodas namely Shwezigon Pagoda, Thabyinnyu Pahto, Ananda Temple, and Dhammayangyi Temple. They gained rich first-hand data for future collaboration through investigating terrain of riverfront of the Irrawaddy River and boundary of core area and conservation area, and clarified the authorized airspace and region for flying unmanned Ariel vehicle (UAV).

During the visit, Mr. Kyaw Oo Lwin, the Director General of the Department for Archaeology and National Museum, got to Bagan, all the way from the capital city Naypyidaw, in order to meet the delegation. They carried out further discussion and confirmed the undetermined contents in Memorandum, such as application for UAV’s airspace, customs procedure for authorized equipment and sample, logistical support, etc. 

Both sides reached to an agreement, which built a solid foundation for future projects. 

Group picture of the HIST delegation and Mr. Kyaw Oo Lwin, the Director General of the Department for Archaeology and National Museum


Field Survey

Thabyinnyu Pahto

Shwezigon Pagoda