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Cambridge Heritage Research Centre



I recently completed my PhD (Archaeology) at Cambridge on The Last Elephant Catchers: (In)Visible Indigenous Heritage in Thailand. My research examined the concept of the Authorised Heritage Discourse and the impact of authority at various scales on Indigenous heritage in Thailand, working with a community known as the 'Kui'. The Kui traditionally caught elephants from the wild - a practice that came to an end in the 1960s. I examined the various factors contributing to the end of this tradition, as well as the run-on effects this loss has had in terms of the endangerment of other aspects of the Kui community's elephant heritage. 

While working on my monograph, I am also currently involved in several research projects including one examining the impact of climate on coastal communities in Thailand, and Cambridge Heritage Research Centre's project on developing a Heritage Ecosystem Impact Assessment. In addition to this, I am involved in organising the Indo-Pacific programme run by the Centre for Geopolitics at Cambridge and also work with Uncomfortable Cambridge, a social enterprise generating tours and discussions surrounding the city's 'uncomfortable' histories. 

I received my BA (Hons) in Human, Social and Political Science at the University of Cambridge in 2016, where I looked at conflicts between mineral and heritage rights in South Africa as part of my undergraduate dissertation. I then went on to do my MPhil in Archaeological Heritage and Museums. Before returning to Cambridge to complete my PhD, I worked with the United Nations Development Programme in Thailand as part of their Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development team. 




  • Heritage Ecologies

  • Tangible & Intangible Heritage

  • Heritage Value

  • The Anthropocene



Key publications: 

Santikarn, A., Doğan, E., Antczak, O., Ruf, K.E., Pinto Leitão Pereira, M. 2022. Rethinking the Archaeology–Heritage Divide. The Archaeological Review from Cambridge, 37(1): 1–11. Cambridge: Victoire Press.

Santikarn, A. (Forthcoming). Rights to Heritage and the Environment in Thailand: A Case Study of Kaeng Krachan National Park in Kim, J. and Zoh, M. (eds). Asia’s Heritage Trend: Examining Asia’s Present through its Past. London: Routledge.

Santikarn, A. (Forthcoming). The Politics of Indigenous Heritage in Thailand in Smith, L. Campbell, G., Whitehead, C., Bozoğlu, G. (eds). Routledge Handbook of Politics and Heritage. London: Routledge.

Other publications: 

Santikarn, A. 2022. Archaeology and Photography: Time, Objectivity and Archive (Review). The Archaeological Review from Cambridge, 37(2). Cambridge: Victoire Press.

Teaching and Supervisions

Research supervision: 

PhD Supervised by: Dr. Dacia Viejo Rose


Postdoctoral Member, Cambridge Heritage Research Centre
A profile photo of CHRC Postdoctoral Member, Dr Alisa Santikarn
Not available for consultancy