UNESCO World Heritage Centre – UNESCO Expert Meeting for the World Heritage Nomination Process of the Maritime Silk Routes

The Maritime Silk Route would naturally include many Southeast Asian stops.

UNESCO Expert Meeting for the World Heritage Nomination Process of the Maritime Silk Routes

There has been much discussion about possible strategies for the nominations on the UNESCO World Heritage List of the impact of maritime trade on the cultures and civilizations between East and West often referred to as the ‘Maritime Silk Routes’. The aim of this UNESCO Expert Meeting for the World Heritage Nomination Process of the Maritime Silk Routes, which will be held on 30-31 May 2017 in London, is to bring together scholars who have worked on the history, archaeology, and heritage of maritime interactions across this vast area in order to discuss the strategy for further research, as well as the development of a platform to enter into a possible dialogue with the States Parties of the World Heritage Convention along the Maritime Silk Routes.

Source: UNESCO World Heritage Centre – UNESCO Expert Meeting for the World Heritage Nomination Process of the Maritime Silk Routes

Batu hidup ditemukan di Jenagor – Terengganu – Utusan Online

Utusan Online (18 May 2017, article in Bahasa Malaysia): A trio of standing stones ‘batu hidup’ has been uncovered in Terrengganu. The location of these megaliths are quite interesting as they are usually found on the western side of the Malayan peninsula (Malacca, Negri Sembilan and Perak). I have often though that the standing stones are part of a megalithic cultural package that was carried from Sumatra, so their discovery on the eastern side of the peninsula is potentially significant.

KUALA TERENGGANU 18 Mei – Tiga bongkahan batu megalith yang dikenali sebagai batu hidup ditemukan di Jenagor, Hulu Terengganu baru-baru ini.

Source: Batu hidup ditemukan di Jenagor – Terengganu – Utusan Online

Discovery: Australia’s oldest coastal aboriginal site

The discovery of archaeological remains in Boodie Cave on Barrow Island, in northwestern Australia goes back to 50,000 years and shows exploitation of marine resources.

Archaeological deposits from Boodie Cave on Barrow Island, northwest Australia, reveal some of the oldest evidence for Aboriginal occupation of Australia, as well as illustrating the early use of marine resources by modern peoples outside of Africa. Barrow Island is a large (202 km2) limestone continental island located on the North-West Shelf of Australia, optimally located to sample past use of both the Pleistocene coastline and extensive arid coastal plains. An interdisciplinary team forming the Barrow Island Archaeology Project (BIAP) has addressed questions focusing on the antiquity of occupation of coastal deserts by hunter-gatherers; the use and distribution of marine resources from the coast to the interior; and the productivity of the marine zone with changing sea levels. Boodie Cave is the largest of 20 stratified deposits identified on Barrow Island with 20 m3 of cultural deposits excavated between 2013 and 2015. In this first major synthesis we focus on the dating and sedimentology of Boodie Cave to establish the framework for ongoing analysis of cultural materials. We present new data on these cultural assemblages – including charcoal, faunal remains and lithics – integrated with micromorphology, sedimentary history and dating by four independent laboratories. First occupation occurs between 51.1 and 46.2 ka, overlapping with the earliest dates for occupation of Australia. Marine resources are incorporated into dietary assemblages by 42.5 ka and continue to be transported to the cave through all periods of occupation, despite fluctuating sea levels and dramatic extensions of the coastal plain. The changing quantities of marine fauna through time reflect the varying distance of the cave from the contemporaneous shoreline. The dietary breadth of both arid zone terrestrial fauna and marine species increases after the Last Glacial Maximum and significantly so by the mid-Holocene. The cave is abandoned by 6.8 ka when the island becomes increasingly distant from the mainland coast.

Source: Early human occupation of a maritime desert, Barrow Island, North-West Australia

See also:
Earliest evidence of Aboriginal occupation of Australian coast discovered (The Guardian, 19 May 2017)
Remote cave reveals earliest Australians lived around 50,000 years ago (University of Queensland, 19 May 2017)

China’s plan for a commercial port at Luang Prabang

Asia Times, 16 May 2017: A proposed Chinese plan to develop Luang Prabang into a commercial port that can accommodate 500-ton cargo ships has severe repercussions for the environment and cultural status of the World Heritage site.

China’s plan for the Mekong River envisions a big new commercial port at Luang Prabang, a United Nations designated World Heritage site and heart of the Lao tourism industry

Source: Lao cultural treasure faces river trade dilemma | Asia Times

Call for Papers: International Conference Binh Dinh ancient ceramics

From the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, an international conference to be held in Binh Dinh province on 26th to 28th October 2017 (tentative)

In order to shed more light on Binh Dinh ancient ceramics and its role in the history of economic and cultural exchange between Champa and Dai Viet as well as other countries in South East Asia, the Research Center for Imperial Citadel (RCIC) – Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS), in co-operating with Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism – People Committee of Binh Dinh Province, are intending to organize the International Conference Binh Dinh ancient ceramics – Vijaya Kingdom and its relationship with Thang Long citadel – Dai Viet (11th-15th centuries) in Quy Nhon City, Binh Dinh province in late October 2017.

This conference seeks to summarize, evaluate the scholarly achievements of Champa ancient ceramics in Binh Dinh and issues related to the history of economic and cultural exchange between Vijaya Kingdom and Thang Long Citadel as well as other South East Asia countries in the past.

For more details, please download the flyer here.

Secrets Of The Sea: A Tang Shipwreck & Early Trade In Asia

Antiques and the Arts Weekly, 09 May 2017

In “Secrets of The Sea: A Tang Shipwreck and Early Trade in Asia,” running through June 4 at the Asia Society Museum, 78 choice artifacts conjure trade on the flourishing maritime silk route that extended from the Abbasid caliphate to the Tang empire in the Ninth Century. As it turns out, active trading had been underway centuries before the Portuguese had arrived in search of goods and spices.

Curator Adrianna Proser hopes visitors will find the show intriguing, not only for its treasures but for its exploration “of the level of activity and exchange and trade that was crossing a large segment of the world so much earlier than people realized.”

Source: Secrets Of The Sea: A Tang Shipwreck & Early Trade In Asia

Maritime Grave Robbers Detained

The Maritime Executive, 08 May 2017: The Malaysian and Indonesian authorities have detained the MV Chuan Hong 68 and her crew, a vessel which is believed to be illegally looting shipwrecks (including war graves) in Indonesian and Malaysian waters.


MV Chuan Hong

Somebody has been stealing warships from Southeast Asian waters – more specifically, sunken warships, which are prized for their scrap metal value. Indonesian authorities now believe that they have caught one of the perpetrators: they allege that the 8,000 gt Chinese grab dredger Chuan Hong 68 was responsible for illegally scavenging the wrecks of the pre-WWII Japanese destroyer Sagiri, plus the passenger vessels Hiyoshi Maru and Katori Maru, the steamship Igara and the tanker Seven Skies.

It is the second time that maritime authorities have caught the Chuan Hong 68 in as many months. On April 20, the Indonesian Navy detained her in the waters off Natuna in the Riau Islands on the suspicion that she was engaged in illegal dredging. She escaped on April 22 and fled to Malaysia, where she was detained once again by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

Source: Indonesia Captures Maritime Grave Robbers

See also:
Indonesia seeks Interpol’s help to find dredger (Straits Times, 23 April 2017)
The Thieves Who Steal Sunken Warships, Right Down to the Bolts (Outside Online, 02 May 2017)
Indonesia Detains Chinese-flagged Dredger for Looting Sunken Treasure (Netral, 07 May 2017)

Bagan tourist receipts to fund road repairs

Myanmar Times, 16 May 2017:

Some four percent of the entrance fees, collected from foreigners visiting the Bagan archaeological zone, have been used to start repairs on pagoda roads, said Bagan Regional Development Association (BRDA) president U Khin Maug Nu yesterday.

Source: Bagan pagodas entrance fee to fund road repairs

Wanted: Ayutthaya tour guide who encouraged bad behaviour

Daily News (Thai), 9 May 2017: A formal complaint was leveled against the Ayutthaya tour guide who led a group of Chinese tourists over the wall of Wat Si Sanpetch (thus bypassing the ticket booths); the police is now looking to prosecute the man.

ผอ.ททท.เมืองกรุงเก่าขอประณามไกด์ทัวร์จีนไร้สำนึก! พานักท่องเที่ยวปีนกำแพงโบราณสถาน ชี้ทำภาพลักษณ์เสียหายหนัก ด้านตำรวจท่องเที่ยวลุยเอาผิด จ่อประสานให้พักใช้ใบอนุญาต

Source: ผอ.ททท.ประณามไกด์ทัวร์จีน ลุยเอาผิด-จ่อพักใบอนุญาต

Carbon dating confirms ‘Penang Woman’ is 5,710 years old

The Malay Mail, 12 May 2017: Fresh C14 dates for the skeleton found at Guar Kepah in Penang reveals it is 5,700 years old, consistent with the shell midden’s Neolithic date.

Source: Carbon dating confirms ‘Penang Woman’ is 5,710 years old | Malaysia | Malay Mail Online

See also: Carbon dating finds ‘Penang Woman’ to be 5,710 years old (The Star, 13 May 2017)