The Mekong River is one of the world’s great rivers, but very little is known about its prehistoric human settlement. The Middle Mekong Archaeological Project (MMAP), conceived in 2001, seeks to investigate human settlement of the Mekong Valley with a research program beginning in Luang Prabang in northern Laos. Since 2005, MMAP has conducted a groundbreaking collaborative research program of international researchers in this area, including surveys that have identified 69 archaeological sites and excavations at three cave sites. This archaeological fieldwork has yielded thousands of stone and ceramic artifacts, human skeletal remains, and other evidence from over 11,000 years of human habitation in the area. MMAP seeks to resolve long standing archaeological debates on when and how metallurgy and agriculture came to Southeast Asia. This joint project of The Penn Museum and the Department of Heritage, Laos is also helping budding Lao archaeologists and museologists to build capabilities for Lao cultural heritage preservation, by offering training in archaeological disciplines concurrent with research activities.