Inscriptions found on Phnom Tbeng

I don’t read Khmer, and I ran this story through Google Translate, but it seems that a number of inscriptions have been discovered on Phnom Tbeng in Preah Vihear province. Corrections, translations and clarifications welcome!

Inscriptions on Phnom Tbeng Source: Everyday.com.kh 20140818

Inscriptions on Phnom Tbeng Source: Everyday.com.kh 20140818

ភ្នំ​ត្បែងមានជ័យ, អាថ័កំបាំងដែល មិនទាន់ទម្លាយ​
Everyday.com, 18 August 2014
Article is in Khmer

CKS PhD and Senior Fellowship in social sciences and humanities

The Council of American Overseas Research Centers and the US Deptartment of State are offering PhD and Senior level Fellowships for social science research through the Center for Khmer Studies. You must be a Cambodian or US citizen to apply.

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This program is open to Cambodian and U.S. doctoral candidates and scholars who have already earned their Ph.D. in the social sciences and humanities. Scholars can pursue research in other countries in mainland Southeast Asia (Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Burma, Southern China) provided that part of their research is undertaken in Cambodia.

More details about the fellowship here. Deadline is 30 November 2014.

Cambodia ready to nominate Sambor Prei Kuk for World Heritage by end of year

The intentions has been known for some time now, and Cambodia’s Ministry of Culture feels confident to submit Sambor Prei Kuk for nomination as a World Heritage Site by the end of the year.

Sambor Prei Kuk. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20140820

Sambor Prei Kuk. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20140820

Temple may be heritage site
Phnom Penh Post, 20 August 2014
Continue reading Cambodia ready to nominate Sambor Prei Kuk for World Heritage by end of year

US shipwreck identified in the Java Sea

The US navy confirms the identity of the USS Houston at the bottom of the Java Sea, sunk during World War II.

USS Houston. Source: US Navy, via BBC 20140819

USS Houston. Source: US Navy, via BBC 20140819

US Navy: USS Houston wreck found in Java Sea
BBC News, 19 August 2014
Continue reading US shipwreck identified in the Java Sea

CFP: 6th SSEASR Conference, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Calling for papers for the 6th South and Southeast Asian Association for Culture and Religion to be held in Sri Lanka in 2015.

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Heritage as Prime Mover in History, Culture and Religion of South and Southeast Asia
6th SSEASR Conference, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Venue: University of Kelaniya, Kelaniya, Sri Lanka
Date: 4-11 June 2015
Continue reading CFP: 6th SSEASR Conference, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Video: Short documentary on mahouts

Of ethnographic interest. Filmmaker Erik Dettle emailed me a couple days ago to share his short documentary, Mahout: Changing Reigns, about the Gwi mahouts of Thailand and how elephant-raising has changed over time.

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Check out the video here.

A couple years ago while in the field I managed to spend some time at the Elephant Conservation Center in Xayabouri, Laos, where I learnt a lot about the traditional practice of raising elephants, and some tourist practices do more harm than good to the elephants. I highly recommend them as a place to go to if you want to learn about elephants. One of my main takeaways from the experience is that elephants’ backs are actually very weak, and they are not suited to carrying weights on their backs! You’ll notice that the mahouts usually ride elephants on their front shoulders for that reason. If you find yourself in Southeast Asia and you have the option of riding an elephant on their backs – don’t do it!

Myanmar bans hotel development around heritage sites

Some welcome news, the Myanmar government has banned hotel development around 46 cultural heritage regions in order to protect sites from potentially-damaging tourism.

Source: Mizzima 20140419

Source: Mizzima 20140419

Hotel building to be banned in Myanmar’s ancient heritage sites
Mizzima, 19 August 2014
Continue reading Myanmar bans hotel development around heritage sites

Souvenir stall cleanout at Ayutthaya

The Thai government is cracking down on unsightly souvenir stalls at the Ayutthaya World Heritage Site.

Souvenir stalls in Ayutthaya

Souvenir stalls in Ayutthaya

Eyesore souvenir stalls ordered out of old Ayutthaya
Bangkok Post, 19 August 2014
Continue reading Souvenir stall cleanout at Ayutthaya

Criticisms over the hobbit-Down Syndrome paper

There seems to be more than meets the eye with the latest paper in PNAS on the ‘hobbit’ as a person with Down syndrome. The Guardian has a story on the criticism and reactions to this paper.

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Homo floresiensis: scientists clash over claims ‘hobbit man’ was modern human with Down’s syndrome
The Guardian, 17 August 2014
Continue reading Criticisms over the hobbit-Down Syndrome paper

Tourist poses with Angkor statue, damages it (and vice versa)

A Korean tourist poses for a photograph next to a statue in Angkor Thom and ends up beheading it. As the story goes, it is a “fresh reminder of an old problem”.

Decapitated statue from Angkor Thom. Source Phnom Penh Post 20140814

Decapitated statue from Angkor Thom. Source Phnom Penh Post 20140814

Angkor statue loses (replica) head
Phnom Penh Post, 14 August 2014
Continue reading Tourist poses with Angkor statue, damages it (and vice versa)