Historic City of Ayutthaya, Thailand


The ancient capital of Thailand

Expedition Overview
The CyArk field mission to Ayutthaya took place in June 2017. The archaeological complex of Wat Phra Si Sanphet, the focus of the expedition, was impacted during a major flood event in 2011.The primary purpose of the trip was to assist UNESCO and the Fine Arts Department (FAD) of Thailand in mapping the site and providing detailed documentation surrounding the subsidence of the monuments.  The documentation was conducted utilizing LiDAR and both aerial and terrestrial photogrammetry. Our work was supported through a generous grant from Seagate.
Historic City of Ayutthaya
Founded in 1350 CE, Ayutthaya was the Siamese capital until the 18th century. Surpassing the old capital of Sukhothai, King Ramathibodi declared Ayutthaya the new capital. Ayutthaya was named after a magical kingdom from the Ramakien, Thailand's national epic. In 1767, the city was attacked and burned to the ground  by the Burmese army. As all the wooden structures were lost, the only remaining buildings in Ayutthaya are built of stone. Following its destruction, the capital was moved to Bangkok where an effort was made to recreate the urban template and architecture of Ayutthaya.
Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Wat Phra Si Sanphet was the most important temple in Ayutthaya. Being a temple of the royal family, there were no quarters for monks, and the site was used exclusively for royal ceremonies. Its three chedis, which would have been covered in gold, are believed to hold the ashes of three Kings: King Trailok, King Borom Ratchathirat III and King RamaThibodi II. All of the temples gold, including its gold covered 16m tall Buddha was taken by the Burmese army. The three bell shaped chedis are a symbol for Thailand today.

The 3D data collected during this project was used by conservators to study the subsidence of the Temple caused by the flooding in 2011. Here is an orthographic elevation produced by CyArk.

Summary of Data Captured

This project resulted in the following data which is now freely available for non-commercial use.

Areas with LiDAR documentation are indicated in grey. Areas with photogrammetry are indicated by yellow.

Request access to data

View Interactive Map

Credits: Story

Stay in touch with CyArk by signing up for our newsletter. Support our continued efforts on projects like this by donating.

This project was made possible through the following partners:

Fine Arts Department of Thailand

UNESCO Bangkok


Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Translate with Google