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This study concerns Phanom Rung sanctuary and the discussion of its origins which are widespread throughout the local communities. Though there are various versions of the sanctuary’s background, the most widely-accepted one is the formal history promoted by the Fine Arts Department of Thailand (FAD), which is based on archaeological knowledge. However, the story of Narendraditya as the sanctuary’s creator, which the FAD promotes, seems strange to local people who fail to acknowledge it as a part of Phanom Rung history. By Foucaultdian discourse analysis, I follow Smith’s argument concerning authorized heritage discourse (AHD) which can be classified as “professional discourse” and “popular discourse”. In the case of local people at Phanom Rung, I found their rejection of Narendraditya is based on the contrasting epistemes of professional and popular discourse. While the latter is influenced by the Cambodian monument discourse, professional discourse has created a different scenario but has failed to provide enough background information for local people to accept it as credible.
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