New Dawn or Letdown? Iconic Temple Makeover Gets Mixed Reviews (Photos)

via Khaosod English, 19 August 2017: Another discussion of the restoration of Wat Arun in Bangkok, which is receiving mixed reactions. The Fine Arts Department maintains it is following the established guidelines for the restoration of such work, but visitors today complain it is too white and bright than the grey tower they are used to seeing.

BANGKOK — Nopparat Petchchai has watched over the Temple of Dawn for over two decades. The 50-year-old security guard from Uttaradit province, who keeps a close eye on the throngs of mostly Western tourists, said he’s heard the years-long restoration effort of one of Thailand’s most iconic landmarks became controversial once the public got a […]

Source: New Dawn or Letdown? Iconic Temple Makeover Gets Mixed Reviews (Photos)

Airborne LiDAR prospection at Lovea, an Iron Age moated settlement in central Cambodia

Besides the paper on stone tools of Vietnam, another paper (also by other former colleagues at the Australian National University) presents Lidar data from the iron-age settlement of Lovea in Cambodia.

Recent archaeological investigations and technological applications have increased our appreciation of the intricacies of pre-Angkorian societal development. The results reveal a transformative period characterised by increasing socio-political complexity, exchange and technological transfer, differences in burial wealth, growing levels of conflict and variation in site morphology. Among the excavated Iron Age sites in Cambodia, Lovea, near the heart of Angkor, is well placed to provide a greater understanding of these changes in this region. Excavation and remote sensing confirm that the two moats surrounding Lovea are testimony to the early adoption of water-management strategies. These strategies grew in complexity, culminating in the vast network of canals, reservoirs and tanks that are the hallmarks of the hydraulic society of Angkor.

Source: Airborne LiDAR prospection at Lovea, an Iron Age moated settlement in central Cambodia | Antiquity | Cambridge Core

Archaeologists uncover ancient trading network in Vietnam

A new paper in Antiquity reveals the circulation and manufacture of stone tools during the Neolithic in Southern Vietnam. The paper is published by some of my former colleagues at the Australian National University.

A new study shows a number of settlements along the Mekong Delta region of Southern Vietnam were part of a sophisticated scheme where large volumes of items were manufactured and circulated over hundreds of kilometres.

Lead researcher Dr Catherine Frieman School of the ANU School of Archaeology and Anthropology said the discovery significantly changes what was known about early Vietnamese culture.

“We knew some artefacts were being moved around but this shows evidence for a major trade network that also included specialist tool-makers and technological knowledge. It’s a whole different ball game,” Dr Frieman said.

Source: Archaeologists uncover ancient trading network in Vietnam

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Myanmar company offers VR tour of Bagan

via Myanmar Times, 18 August 2018: Myanmar company 3xvivr offers a way to visit Bagan without being physically there – the results are pretty impressive and immersive and I’ll post a few links on Facebook.

A virtual reality company offers a tour of Bagan’s pagoda without leaving Yangon.

Source: Bagan by goggles

1,500-yr-old artifacts found in Camarines Sur, Philippines

via Philippine Inquirer, 18 August 2018: Evidence for a pre-Hispanic settlement found in central-eastern Philippines, dating 1,500 years.

Shards of burial jars found in an ancient graveyard in this town are about 1,500 years old, according to a team of archaeologists.

Source: 1,500-yr-old artifacts found in CamSur | Inquirer News

The Life, Death, and Resurgence of Baybayin

via Esquire Philippines, 11 August 2018: A feature on the ancient written script of the Philippines, which went almost extinct after the arrival of the Spanish.

The influence of this ancient language can be seen in how Filipinos write today.

Source: The Life, Death, and Resurgence of Baybayin | Esquire Ph

Fine Arts stands by Wat Arun stupa repair effort

via Bangkok Post, 17 August 2018: The Fine Arts Department of Thailand responds to online criticisms of the restoration work to the iconic Wat Arun in Bangkok.

The Fine Arts Department and the assistant abbot of the Temple of Dawn or Wat Arun deny claims the latest restoration of its iconic stupas have diminished the traditional beauty of the structures.

Source: Fine Arts stands by Wat Arun stupa repair effort | Bangkok Post: lifestyle

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Apsara Authority continues removing homes in Angkor

via Phnome Penh Post, 14 August 2017: The APSARA Authority this week began evicting and demolishing illegal structures – many of them homes – in the Angkor Archaeological Park which were built in the last year. Local residents have begun to protest to the provincial government, but the orders to vacate and the threat of demolition have been made for several months now.

The Apsara Authority and Siem Reap provincial officials have demolished 49 homes out of 520 slated for removal within the Angkor Archaeological Park since Thursday, officials said yesterday.

Source: Apsara Authority continues removing homes in Angkor, National, Phnom Penh Post

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Paper: Seafaring Archaeology of the East Coast of India and Southeast Asia during the Early Historical Period

A new Open Access paper published in Ancient Asia:

The concept of trade in ancient India was quite different from modern times. In olden day’s mariners, artisans, traders, Buddhist monks and religious leaders used to set sail together and this trend continued till the advent of modern shipping. The representation of art on the walls of the caves, stupas and temples enlighten us regarding their joint ventures, experiences and problems faced during the sea voyages. The finding of varieties of pottery, punch marked and Roman coins, Brahmi and Kharoshti inscriptions along the ports, trade centres and Buddhist settlements suggest the role played by them in maritime trade during the early historical period and later. Mariners of India were aware of the monsoon wind and currents for more than two thousand years if not earlier. Furthermore, the study shows that the maritime contact with Southeast Asian countries was seasonal and no changes of Southwest and Northeast monsoon have been noticed since then. This paper details the types of pottery, beads, cargo found at ports, trade routes and Buddhist settlements along the east coast of India and the role of monsoons in maritime trade. The impact of Buddhism on trade and society of the region are also discussed.

Source: Seafaring Archaeology of the East Coast of India and Southeast Asia during the Early Historical Period (doi:10.5334/aa.118