Indonesian island found to be unusually rich in cave paintings

via the Australian National University, 13 December 2017:

A tiny Indonesian island, previously unexplored by archaeologists, has been found to be unusually rich in ancient cave paintings following a study by researchers from The Australian National University (ANU). The team uncovered a total of 28 rock art sites dating from at least 2,500 years ago on the island of Kisar which measures just 81 square kilometres and lies north of Timor-Leste.

Source: Indonesian island found to be unusually rich in cave paintings

Discovery of world’s oldest funerary fish hooks by ANU archaeologists

via Heritage Daily, 12 December 2017: 12,000-year-old fish hooks found in a burial in Alor Island, Indonesia.

Archaeologists from the Australian National University has discovered five fish hooks dating from the Pleistocene era, approximately 12,000 years ago on Indonesia’s Alor Island.

Source: Discovery of world’s oldest funerary fish hooks by ANU archaeologists

See also:

World’s scientists turn to Asia and Australia to rewrite human history

via The Conversation, 08 December 2017

Researchers in human evolution used to focus on Africa and Eurasia – but not anymore. Discoveries in Asia and Australia have changed the picture, revealing early, complex cultures outside of Africa.

Source: World’s scientists turn to Asia and Australia to rewrite human history

Postdoctoral Fellowships “Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices” (Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin)

The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien invites scholars to apply for up to six postdoctoral fellowships within the framework of the research program Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices. Kunstgeschichte und Ästhetische Praktiken for the academic year 2018/19.

Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices is a research and fellowship program which questions and transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries of art history in a transcultural, global horizon. By creating a space of dialogue for university and museum scholars from all -regions, it aims to discuss the potentials and contours of a plural
history of art. It especially invites scholars from Islamic, Asian, African, Australian, European art histories and the art histories of the Americas, to join the program, but also addresses neighboring disciplines such as Archaeology, Anthropology, History, Aesthetics and other fields dealing with the history of visual and material cultures. Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices analyses the connectivity of larger historical spaces in a transregional perspective and investigates artistic and aesthetic practices and the history of artifacts in a comparative approach, experimenting with new methodologies, forms of collaborative research and curatorial practices. The concept of Aesthetic Practices introduced by this program, is an invitation to study artifacts with their biographies as well as processes of transfer and transformation in a transcultural, postcolonial and global perspective. The program has no chronological or geographical constraints. It collaborate with the Berlin State Museums, the Berlin universities, as well as other international and national academic partners, and aims at an intense interaction of art  historical institutions.

Its scholarly environment is designed to enable and encourage both fellows and the wider community to experiment and refine transregional approaches to the history of visual cultures and aesthetic practices.

Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices is an initiative of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence (KHI), Max-Planck-Institute at the Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin. Art Histories is directed by Hannah Baader and Gerhard Wolf and cooperates with the program Connecting Art Histories in the Museum (Berlin State Museums/ KHI Florenz).

Candidates

Applicants should have obtained their doctorate within the last seven years (before their application). We welcome applications from all regions, with various disciplinary backgrounds, such as Art Histories, Archaeologies, Anthropology, Aesthetics, History, and all relevant neighboring fields dealing with artifacts, artistic production, material culture, and aesthetic practices relating to objects, images and architectures. Applicants should be interested to engage in reflexive and transdisciplinary research. Art Histories fellows are given the opportunity to pursue their individual research projects within a transdisciplinary and transregional context. They are expected to engage in the program activities, such as regular seminars, workshops, conferences and a travelling seminar.

In the overall context of the Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices program and the framework of the Forum Transregionale Studien, the fellows will be part of a creative, intellectually stimulating and discursive environment.

Fellowships

The fellowhip starts on 1 October 2018 and ends on 31 July 2019. In particular cases, shorter fellowship terms may be considered. Postdoctoral fellows will receive a monthly stipend of EUR 2.500 plus supplements depending on their personal situation.

Organizational support regarding visas, insurances, housing, etc. will be provided. Successful applicants become fellows of the program Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices at the Forum Transregionale Studien and are expected to take up residence in Berlin.

Application Procedure

To apply, please send the following documents exclusively by e-mail as seperate word or PDF files:

– a curriculum vitae (in English)
– a project description (no longer than five pages / in English)
– a sample of scholarly work (about 20 pages of an article, conference
paper, or dissertation chapter)
– names of two referees (including their e-mail addresses)

The complete application should be submitted latest by 15 January 2018 and addressed to arthistories_application@trafo-berlin.de

Successful candidates will be notified by April 2018. Information about the current status of the evaluation process will be published on the website www.arthistories.de.

Institutional Framework

Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The research program is integrated in the Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien, a research platform that connects systematic and regionspecific questions, addressing entanglements and interactions beyond national, cultural or regional frames. The Forum works in tandem with established institutions and networks, that are engaged in transregional studies and is supported by an association of directors of universities, research institutes and networks mostly based in Berlin.

The Forum Transregionale Studien cooperates with the Max Weber Stiftung and is funded by a public-private partnership.

The call for applications is depending on the provision of funding.

Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices collaborates closely with the following Berlin based institutions:
– Berlin State Museums, Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation
– Freie Universität Berlin, Department for Art Histories
– Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Department of Art and Visual History
– ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry

Contact

Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices
c/o Forum Transregionale Studien
Wallotstrasse 14
14193 Berlin
Germany
arthistories@trafo-berlin.de

Skeletons from possible ancient city exposed by riverbank erosion

via Coconuts Yangon, 08 December 2017

Skeletons, urns containing pieces of bones, and the remains of a building were unearthed when a river carried away a chunk of a riverbank on Tuesday.

Source: Skeletons from possible ancient city exposed by riverbank erosion | Coconuts Yangon

The 400-year history of Portuguese Catholics in Sagaing

via Frontier Myanmar, 06 December 2017:

Some villages in central Myanmar are inhabited by the descendants of thousands of Portuguese, who were settled in the area by a kindly Taungoo dynasty king.

Source: The 400-year history of Portuguese Catholics in Sagaing

RFP: Uncovering Human Origins in Asia and Africa

Grant opportunity by the National Geographic Society for human origins research, including within Southeast Asia. Deadline is on 3 January 2018

For more than 50 years, the National Geographic Society has supported exploration into the evolution of humankind. Our grants have led to hundreds of new discoveries in paleoanthropology, paleolithic archaeology, molecular anthropology, and paleoecology that have fundamentally changed the understanding of our own species. As we consider that legacy, we look to those areas of the planet where little is known about human origins, and we seek to invest in new ideas, projects, and explorers in and from these regions. The goal of this fund is to encourage more investigation of hominid evolution in Africa and Asia, with preference given to projects in relatively unexplored parts of those continents. Preference will also be given to applicants who are residents or citizens of the country of fieldwork as well as to projects with strong local capacity development components.

Priority will be given to projects that aim to do one or more of the following:

  • Discover or explore new paleoanthropological fossil sites in Africa or Asia, particularly those in Central and West Africa and those in East, Southeast, South, and Central Asia
  • Increase understanding of the biological, cultural, or ecological parameters of human origins in Africa or Asia
  • Develop local capacity in human origins exploration in Africa or Asia

Applicants may request up to US $50,000, though grants are typically funded for less than US $30,000. Up to 20 percent of the requested amount can be used as stipends for the applicant or team members (please see the How to Apply page for stipend eligibility requirements and other budgetary guidance). Projects focused around education or storytelling should explicitly state the plan for evaluating the impact of the work.

Source: RFP: Uncovering Human Origins in Asia and Africa

NSC Archaeological Reports 7: Archiving Archaeological Materials

A new report available for download from the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre in Singapore by Lim Chen Sian et al.:

ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute and the National Heritage Board Singapore conducted a workshop on Archiving Archaeological Materials in 2014. Heritage practitioners and archaeology specialists from the United Kingdom and Singapore were invited to discuss the need to develop an archaeological archive. Related issues in handling archaeological remains were also discussed. Archaeological remains are non-renewable heritage assets. They need to be removed, processed, catalogued, stored, and archived properly for future generations of researchers, educators, the public, and many other global stakeholders. The papers in this volume compile a range of perspectives, approaches, and possible solutions.

Source: Archiving Archaeological Materials by Lim Chen Sian, Duncan H. Brown, Derek Heng, Frank M. Meddens, and John N. Miksic