About Us

The SEAMEO Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SEAMEO SPAFA) promotes professional competence, awareness and preservation of cultural heritage, in the fields of archaeology and fine arts in Southeast Asia. It is a regional centre constituted in 1985 from the SEAMEO Project in Archaeology and Fine Arts, which provided the acronym ‘SPAFA’. The Centre is part of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO), an international organization dedicated to promoting co-operation in education, science and culture in Southeast Asia.

Member Countries

  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Cambodia
  • Indonesia
  • Lao PDR
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Vietnam

Associate Member Countries

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • France
  • New Zealand
  • Netherlands
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom

Founding Purposes

Cultivate awareness and appreciation of cultural heritage through collaborations.

Promote archaeological and cultural activities.

Further professional competence in archaeology and fine arts.

Advance mutual understanding among the countries of Southeast Asia.

Our History

  • 1971


    SEAMEO initiation for establishing a Centre for applied research in archeology and fine arts (ARCAFA = Applied Research Centre in Archeology and Fine Arts).

  • 1973

    Establishment of ARCAFA

  • 1978

    SEAMEO re-established ARCAFA as a SEAMEO Project in Archaeology and Fine Arts (SPAFA).  A co-ordinating unit was based in Bangkok, with three sub-centres in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand.  Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei became members later, followed by Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

  • 1981

    SPAFA became a permanent project

  • 1985

    The SPAFA project was reconstituted into a Centre, the SEAMEO Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SEAMEO SPAFA). The Government of Thailand agreed to host the Regional Centre at the SEAMEO Secretariat building (the acronym, SPAFA, is based on the project name, ‘SEAMEO Project in Archaeology and Fine Arts’).

  • 1993

    Inauguration of the SEAMEO SPAFA building as the headquarters of the regional centre. The newly-built SEAMEO SPAFA building was inaugurated by H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

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The Centre Directors

Name Tenure of Office
Mr Khemchat Thepchai 1 October 2022 – Present
Mrs Somlak Charoenpot 2019 – 2022
Dr M.R. Rujaya Abhakorn 2010 – 2019
Dr Pisit Charoenwongsa 1999 – 2010
Dr Ruang Charoenchai 1993 – 1998
Prof. M.C. Subhadradis Diskul 1987 – 1993



SEAMEO SPAFA’s alumni refers to individuals who have participated in past projects and activities carried out by SEAMEO SPAFA.
Below are lists (in PDF format) of SEAMEO SPAFA alumni categorised by the eleven SEAMEO-member countries in alphabetical order. Each list covers the years from 1978 to 2011*