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Introduction to the project

“The Inscriptions in Thailand Database Project”, which is ongoing at the moment, is a continuing project developed from the “Mulberry paper turned digital database on steles and inscription project” between 2541 and 2545 B.E., which was a co-operation between the Department of Oriental Languages, Faculty of Archaeology, Silpakorn University. That project was led by lecturer Anchana Chitsutthiyarn and Associate Professor Kannikar Wimonkasem, and Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre, (formerly affiliated to Silpakorn University but now an independent organization), led by Professor Khunying Khaisri Sri-arun (former director of the centre). When this project finished in 2545 B.E., the current project “Thailand’s steles and inscriptions database experimental project” followed, established to classify information in digital format, and group it in accordance with the regions and provinces where various steles and inscriptions were found.

Later, in 2546 B.E. Dr. Paritta Chalermpow Koanantakool, the director of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre (Public organization) at that time, came up with an idea to modernize the data searching system as well as add more information to each stele and inscription in order to make them more complete. This initiative brought about the following tri-partite co-operation:

  1. The Department of Oriental Languages, Faculty of Archaeology, Silpakorn University.
  2. Research and Development Department, High Performance Computing Center, National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC).
  3. Research and Research Support Unit, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre (Public organization). Currently, the modernized and up-dated database is in service, but only for the sections where information is complete. The information team kept re-writing information into groups in accordance with the types of letters it uncovered and has now completed certain stages. Any newly completed information will be added should new discoveries be made, and the reading and translations made ready for public use.

The Inscriptions in Thailand Database

This website displays the main information as follows:

  1. The information search icon as shown.
  2. The menu or subject bar to find specific information as shown, which comprises:
    1. Main icon which displays the first page of the website.
    2. About us icon which shows suggestions and instruction for use of this website.
    3. The Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre icon which go to SAC homepage.

Usage instructions for the database

On this database web page for searching Thailand’s inscriptions and steles, as seen in the pictures, the instructions are as follows: Search is the command for searching for specific steles or inscriptions which comprises 2 boxes. The first one is a menu box which includes different searching methods and starts with ‘name of inscriptions or steles’. If users want to search by other methods, they can simply click on the drop down scroll bar and a list of additional methods will show up. The second box is below the first one where users can key in specific key words (corresponding to their preferred search methods). The Search icon is the icon to be clicked on in order to begin the search process.

There are 5 search methods as follows:

  1. Name is the command for finding specific inscriptions or steles from the names within the database. For example, when users want to find Pho Khun Ramkhamhaeng Inscription, they simply type in the word ‘Ramkhamhaeng’ or, if it is Khao Rang Inscription that they require, they simply key in ‘Khao Rang’.
  2. Scripts is the command for finding specific inscriptions or steles from ‘types of inscribed scripts’. When users choose this method on the first box, the second box will automatically change to the script menu. If users want to know how many inscriptions or steles there are in Thai Sukhothai script on the database, they simply click on ‘Thai Sukhothai script’ and press the Enter key. The full list on the database will come up.
  3. Language is the command for finding certain inscriptions or steles from ‘the language used for inscription’ option. When users choose ‘language’ from the menu on the first box, the second box will automatically change into a blank search option for users to key in information. If users want to know how many inscriptions or steles are in Pali language, they simply key in the word ‘Pali’ and then press Enter and the full list on the database will show up.
  4. Province is a command for finding specific inscriptions or steles found in specific different provinces of Thailand.
  5. Keyword is the command for finding specific inscriptions or steles using a word or group of words that the database re-arrangement team considers have relevance to other inscriptions or steles. For example, when the first box changes into ‘keyword’, the second box will automatically turn into a blank search box for keying in additional specific information. When users would like to know which inscriptions or steles belong to the Dvaravati period, they simply type ‘Dvaravati’ and press Enter. The full list from the database will be displayed.


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