New Journal: Pratu – Journal of Buddhist and Hindu Art, Architecture and Archaeology of Ancient to Premodern Southeast Asia

Check out this new journal from Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme at SOAS. The journal is calling for papers for the inaugural 2019 issue, see here.

Journal of Buddhist and Hindu Art, Architecture and Archaeology of Ancient to Premodern Southeast Asia

Pratu: Journal of Buddhist and Hindu Art, Architecture and Archaeology of Ancient to Premodern Southeast Asia is the initiative of a group of research students in the Department of History of Art and Archaeology at SOAS University of London in collaboration with departmental mentors. The journal is funded by the Alphawood Foundation, under the auspices of the Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme (SAAAP). The student editorial group works closely with an advisory group formed of members of SAAAP’s Research & Publications Committee.

Pratu is conceived as a site for emerging scholars to publish new research on the ancient to premodern Buddhist and Hindu visual and material culture of Southeast Asia. The journal’s remit adheres to that of SAAAP itself, covering ‘study of the built environment, sculpture, painting, illustrated texts, textiles and other tangible or visual representations, along with the written word related to these, and archaeological, museum and cultural heritage’.

Pratu means ‘gateway’ or ‘entrance’ in several Southeast Asian languages. The salience of the term for our project lies in its etymological development, where the application of Khmer morphology to Tai terminology to name architectural structures of Indic fame betrays the complexity of the historical evolution of Southeast Asian Buddhist and Hindu traditions. The journal is a gateway: a space of access and transition that reflects our aim to facilitate new scholars’ first experiences with academic publishing as they move from student to early career researcher status. This includes Southeast Asian scholars who would like to reach a wider readership by publishing in English translation and benefitting from the peer-review process. In this way Pratu offers greater exposure to scholars and new research, and furthers the development of inter-institutional and international collaboration.

Source: Pratu

It’s World Heritage Day – Check out 3D scans of some of the world’s most famous ancient monuments in Google Arts & Culture’s Open Heritage

Today (April 18) is World Heritage Day, and technology company CyArk in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture have just launched the website Open Heritage. The site contains 3D scans of ancient monuments from 27 sites from around the world, including Bagan in Myanmar and Ayutthaya in Thailand!

CyArk’s data has already been used for various research purposes. For example, the data collected at Ayutthaya, Thailand—one of the sites featured in Open Heritage—was used by conservators to study the sinking of a temple after flooding in 2011. CyArk’s work at Bagan, the ancient city in Myanmar, Bagan, which was hit with a devastating 6.8-magnitude earthquake in 2016 that caused damage to several of its Buddhist temples, was incorporated into an Unesco pilot project to study how to best conserve monuments. That data is also plugged into Open Heritage in a virtual tour of Bagan, which shows how the area looked before and after the earthquake hit.

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Need a Date? Beta Analytic is giving away AMS dates in a raffle

We are inviting all undergrad and postgrad students who need radiocarbon dating to join our raffle. We are giving away five (5) AMS dates worth US$595 each. The raffle is open to all students in Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America. We will select one winner per region.

To join the raffle, please fill out the form found in our raffle page which requires a description of your research that needs AMS dating. Winners are required to show proof of enrollment for any semester in 2018. For details, please visit https://www.radiocarbon.com/raffle.htm

Radiocarbon Date Raffle | Beta Analytic

Tourism creates thorny ethical dilemmas. Isn’t that the point?

via Quartz, 14 April 2018:

A temple, a hat, and a vexing moral question for tourists.

On a recent holiday in Cambodia, as I marveled at the magnificent Angkor Wat temple complex, a commotion broke my reverie.

I had already noticed the other tourist involved: a white woman wearing an Asian conical hat. I had snapped a photo of the mesmerizing Baphuon temple with her in the foreground, walking toward it (above). But when she got to the entrance, she was blocked by a guard.

“In Cambodia, the Vietnamese hat is not allowed,” the guard told her.

Source: Tourism creates thorny ethical dilemmas. Isn’t that the point?

Iloilo provincial jail turned over to National Museum

via SunStar Iloilo, 11 April 2018:

THE Iloilo Provincial Government officially turned over to the National Museum of the Philippines the old provincial jail, which was retrofitted and designed for adaptive re-use as a museum to be called as the Iloilo and Western Visayas Regional Museum. The turnover ceremony Wednesday, April 11, coincided with the 117th founding anniversary of Iloilo province, which is marked by a four-day celebration dubbed as “Semana sang Iloilo.”

Source: Iloilo provincial jail turned over to National Museum

Call for Papers: Decolonising Southeast Asia’s Past: Archaeology, History of Art, and National Boundaries

Call for Papers: Conference, “Decolonising Southeast Asia’s Past: Archaeology, History of Art, and National Boundaries,” 13-14 Sept 2018, at the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University, Tha Prachan Campus, Bangkok. Abstracts due by 15 May.
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Abstract:
The construction of Southeast Asia’s past developed significantly from the nineteenth century, as a result of a search for the roots of the modern nation-state and Western colonial attempts to explain the history of colonized countries. History, Archaeology, and History of Art as disciplines therefore played an important role in this period. Today, these colonial productions are still being reproduced, although some earlier perspectives have been challenged by scholars for being based on a Western point of view.

This 2018 international conference aims to explore and reconsider Southeast Asia’s past from different perspectives, paradigms, and methodologies.
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This conference will be divided into 3 major panels:
1. Archaeology:
Major themes: post-colonial archaeology, decolonizing colonial archaeological knowledge, post-processual archaeology, and interpretative archaeology (hermeneutics)
Conveners: Dr. Rasmi Schoocongdej, Faculty of Archaeology, Silpakorn University
Dr. Podjanok Kanjanajuntorn, Faculty of Sociology and Anthropology

2. History of Art:
Major themes: post-colonial art history, post-structuralism in history of art, gender, critical thinking and ancient art, contemporary art
Conveners: Prof. Dr. Ashley Thompson, SOAS, University of London
Udomluck Hoontrakul, PhD Candidate, SOAS, University of London

3. States and Borders:
Major themes: ethnic conflict and borders, knowledge without borders, the problem of state polity concepts in Southeast Asia, the problem of national borders in art history and archaeology
Conveners: Prof. Dr. Mandy Sadan, SOAS, University of London
Udomluck Hoontrakul, PhD Candidate, SOAS, University of London
Panel coordinator: Assist. Prof. Pipad Krajaejun, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University
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Target Participants:
This will be a fairly focused conference that aims to draw small but enthusiastic groups of scholars and researchers from a wide range of research interests on issues related to Southeast Asia. The target presenters and participants include:
– University lecturers and school teachers
– Researchers
– Non-affiliated academics
– Postgraduate students
– Government and Non-Governmental Organization officials
– General Public
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Call for Papers:
– An abstract of no more than 200 words, deadline 15th May 2018
– Submit to: decolonisingSEApast@gmail.com, AND https://goo.gl/forms/8YLmZcCSEza89NZN2
– Full papers of 3000 words, to be submitted by 31st October 2018
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Conference Format:
A typical conference with keynote papers (50 minutes + 10 minutes of questions/discussion = 1 hour) and parallel paper sessions (25 minutes + 5 minutes questions/discussion = 30 minutes).
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Conference Proceedings:
Presenters can submit their full papers to be selected for publication in the online, peer-reviewed conference proceedings.
Alternatively, papers can be submitted to peer-reviewed journals under supervision of the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University such as the Journal of Liberal Arts (TCI Tier 1), the Journal of Language and Linguistics (TCI Tier 1), and the Journal of History.
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Registration and Fee:
Speakers: 1200 Thai Baht; Poster Presentations: 800 Thai Baht; Participants (including students): 500 Thai Baht [no fee distinction between Thai citizens and international presenters. Registration fees to be paid in CASH on the first day of the conference].
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Cultural Walk (Optional):
On Wednesday 12th September 2018, a cultural walk/sight-seeing will be organized to the Grand Palace or other tourist attractions in a walking distance from the conference venue. Bookings can be made on the Registration Form.
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Important dates/deadlines:
– Last day of abstract submission: 15th May 2018
– Notification of Acceptance: 31st May 2018
– Deadline for full paper submission: 31st October 2018
– Notification of Acceptance for publication on conference proceedings: 30th November 2018
– Proceedings Publication (online): 31st December 2018
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For further information, please send an email to
decolonisingSEApast@gmail.com, LATU2018@arts.tu.ac.th

A reassessment of the early archaeological record at Leang Burung 2, a Late Pleistocene rock-shelter site on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi

A new paper on PLOS One describes stone tools finds from the rock shelter of Leang Burung in Sulawesi, dating to more than 50,000 years – but it is uncertain which species of humans made them.

This paper presents a reassessment of the archaeological record at Leang Burung 2, a key early human occupation site in the Late Pleistocene of Southeast Asia. Excavated originally by Ian Glover in 1975, this limestone rock-shelter in the Maros karsts of Sulawesi, Indonesia, has long held significance in our understanding of early human dispersals into ‘Wallacea’, the vast zone of oceanic islands between continental Asia and Australia. We present new stratigraphic information and dating evidence from Leang Burung 2 collected during the course of our excavations at this site in 2007 and 2011–13. Our findings suggest that the classic Late Pleistocene modern human occupation sequence identified previously at Leang Burung 2, and proposed to span around 31,000 to 19,000 conventional 14C years BP (~35–24 ka cal BP), may actually represent an amalgam of reworked archaeological materials. Sources for cultural materials of mixed ages comprise breccias from the rear wall of the rock-shelter–remnants of older, eroded deposits dated to 35–23 ka cal BP–and cultural remains of early Holocene antiquity. Below the upper levels affected by the mass loss of Late Pleistocene deposits, our deep-trench excavations uncovered evidence for an earlier hominin presence at the site. These findings include fossils of now-extinct proboscideans and other ‘megafauna’ in stratified context, as well as a cobble-based stone artifact technology comparable to that produced by late Middle Pleistocene hominins elsewhere on Sulawesi.

Source: A reassessment of the early archaeological record at Leang Burung 2, a Late Pleistocene rock-shelter site on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi | PLOS One, doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0193025

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