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

    Establishment of the SEAMEO-initiated ARCAFA (Applied Research Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts).

    In 1971, the Applied Research Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (ARCAFA) was initiated to discover and preserve the cultural heritage of Southeast Asia.  The Centre was in operation for a two-year interim phase (1975-77)

  • 1978

    Launch of SPAFA (SEAMEO Project in Archaeology and Fine Arts) and its co-ordinating unit in Bangkok.

    SEAMEO re-established ARCAFA in 1978 as a Project in Archaeology and Fine Arts.  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

    Approval of SEAMEO SPAFA as a permanent project.

  • 1985

    Establishment of the SEAMEO Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts

    The SEAMEO Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SEAMEO SPAFA) was constituted in 1985 (the acronym, SPAFA, is based on the project name, ‘SEAMEO Project in Archaeology and Fine Arts’).

  • 1993

    Inauguration of the newly-built SEAMEO SPAFA building.

    On June 12, 1993, the newly-built SEAMEO SPAFA building was inaugurated by H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn to mark the official transfer of the Centre, hosted by the Royal Thai Government, from the SEAMEO Secretariat building.

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The Centre Directors

Name Tenure of Office
Mrs Somlak Charoenpot 1 October 2019 – Present
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*