Julie Fleischman, PhD Candidate, has received funding from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences’ Humanitarian and Human Rights Resource Center to oversee a new osteological project at Krang Ta Chan (a former Khmer Rouge security center and mass gravesite in Takeo Province). The funded research will be conducted by Mr. Veon Vuthy, Director of the Department of Archaeology and Prehistory in Cambodia, and the Choeung Ek Osteology Laboratory Team. Vuthy has a strong desire to preserve the human remains at Krang Ta Chan to inform the younger Cambodian generations about their past, to memorialize the victims of such violence, and to prevent the remains from decaying further. The grant will allow the Cambodian team to purchase equipment and supplies to analyze and preserve thousands of human skeletal remains from the Cambodian genocide. Julie, who wrote the grant, will serve in an advisory and fiscal role on the project. Julie will also be collecting data alongside the team for her own research. Her main dissertation research is funded by Fulbright IIE and is titled, “Remnants of Khmer Rouge Violence: The Materiality of Bones as Scientific Evidence and Affective Agents of Memory.”
Image: Julie Fleischman with the Choeung Ek Osteology Laboratory Team, standing in front of the Choeung Ek memorial stupa (shrine). This stupa contains the remains of thousands of individuals exhumed from the mass graves at the site in the 1980s. Vuthy and his team cleaned, analyzed, and preserved all of the remains in the stupa over the past two and a half years.
Update: The team has been written about in two recent Thai and Cambodian newspapers.