Are the Angkor Wat temples doomed?

John Stubbs of the World Monuments Fund talks about the dire need for preservation works at the Angkor temples, and how tourism is leading to quick destruction of the site.

30 June 2006 (Independent Online) – John Stubbs of the World Monuments Fund talks about the dire need for preservation works at the Angkor temples, and how tourism is leading to quick destruction of the site.

The Independent Online, 30 June 2006

Are the Angkor Wat temples doomed?

Such an increase in traffic is something the ancient sandstone structures are ill-equipped to cope with, according to John Stubbs, vice-president for field projects with the World Monuments Fund. A not-for-profit conservation organisation based in New York, the WMF was founded in 1965 with, says Stubbs, a simple mandate: to raise public awareness and save significant historic buildings throughout the world.

The WMF oversees 250 projects in 83 countries, preserving significant sites from the ravages of time. And Angkor Wat is on the critical list. Phnom Bakheng, a five-tier temple perched on a 65m-high hill, is one of the most imperilled of the 40 or so monuments in the area. The most prominent feature for several miles, Phnom Bakheng at sunset is regarded as the quintessential Angkor experience. And therein lies the problem.

Prehistoric artifacts on display in Indonesia

Exhibition on prehistoric finds in and around Jakarta until end-July.

30 June 2006 (Jakarta Post) – Exhibition on prehistoric finds in and around Jakarta until end-July.

Prehistorical artifacts on display

A monthlong exhibition at the Jakarta History Museum, which opened Thursday, is showcasing prehistorical artifacts found during excavations in and around Jakarta.

The artifacts exhibited are mainly those found by archeologists from the Jakarta Culture and Museums Agency, the National Archeological Research Center and archaeology students at the University of Indonesia.


Related Books:
Ancient History (The Indonesian Heritage Series) by Indonesian Heritage

Reverse evolution theory about the Johor Bigfoot

More news on the Johor Bigfoot, with a paleontology scientist conjuecturing that the Johor Bigfoot may have been/be a homo erectus who has undergone reverse evolution. It seems to me at this point that the news is still too sensational, as the conjecture is remains what it is: a conjecture, and nothing conclusive has been made. Stay tuned for this saga to unfold!

30 June 2006 (New Straits Times) – More news on the Johor Bigfoot, with a paleontology scientist conjuecturing that the Johor Bigfoot may have been/be a homo erectus who has undergone reverse evolution. It seems to me at this point that the news is still too sensational, as the conjecture is remains what it is: a conjecture, and nothing conclusive has been made. Stay tuned for this saga to unfold!

New Straits Times, 30 June 2006

Reverse evolution theory about the Johor Bigfoot

The Johor Bigfoot could be a Homo erectus that had undergone “reverse evolution”.

Sean Ang, a scientist from Kuala Lumpur who had analysed the prehistoric Perak Man excavated by Universiti Sains Malaysia in 1994, said based on evidence compiled about the creature by biodiversity researcher Vincent Chow, he thought the creature might have been in existence for more than 65,000 years.

“I concur with Chow’s findings that this could be an unknown species that went through reverse evolution to end up as a less intelligent creature than Peking Man, who could use fire and tools.

On the plains of Cambodia

Travel piece on the Angkor temples in Cambodia.

30 June 2006 (The Hindu) – Travel piece on the Angkor temples in Cambodia.

The Hindu. 30 June 2006

On the plains of Cambodia

It is an incredible sight to see the temples on the plains of Cambodia. These 100 or so temples were built when Hindu kings reigned over a period of time from the 9th to 13th century. These magnificent temples were constructed out of stones, which were reserved for the gods while the people dwelt in houses made of wood and mud.


Related Books:
The Treasures of Angkor: Cultural Travel Guide (Rizzoli Art Guide) by M. Albanese
Angkor: Celestial Temples of the Khmer by J. Ortner
Angkor: A Tour of the Monuments by T. Zephir and L. Invernizzi

Ageless charm of the keris

The Keris or Kris is a Malay blade that is a distiguishable piece of Malay material culture. The Muzium Negara also has an excellent collection of keris.

30 May 2006 (New Straits Times) – The Keris or Kris is a Malay blade that is a distiguishable piece of Malay material culture. The Muzium Negara also has an excellent collection of keris.

Ageless charm of the keris

BUSINESSMAN Rusnan Ngadio shares his experience with the keris (a traditional Malay dagger) with the layman through his collection of more than 5,000 handmade blades worth RM100,000.

“A civilisation is reflected by its cultural heritage and once that knowledge in arts and craft is lost, all will be gone. Today, there are fewer than a dozen keris makers in Peninsular Malaysia. If their trade is not preserved, we will definitely lose our cultural identity,” said the 43-year-old.

Taking Risks

A commentary with mention of an archaeological dig just wrapping up at Plaza Independencia, with pre-hispanic finds of burials and Chinese ceramics.

29 June 2006 (Cebu Daily News) – A commentary with mention of an archaeological dig just wrapping up at Plaza Independencia, with pre-hispanic finds of burials and Chinese ceramics.

Taking Risks

Before I proceed, however, let me invite the readers to the important work carried out by the National Museum (NM) at Plaza Independencia, where archaeological excavations are about to wrap up. Back-filling of the 12 or so 4×4 meter units (quite awesome by archaeological standards) will end today with some 4,000 sacks of excavated soil. The excavations began on June 6 as a prerequisite for the construction of a subway to connect to the South Coastal Road. All told, 11 burials were unearthed, aside from over a thousand Asian tradeware ceramic sherds (probably from the Ming dynasty, 14th to 16th centuries), as well as local earthenware, colonial-period bricks, clay pipes, wine bottles, and a jumble of cow, carabao, pig, and deer bones.

Grave Robbing: Where do we draw the line?

Here’s one for potential robust discussion: where is the line between archaeology and tomb raiding?

27 June 2006 (Bangkok Post) – Here’s one for potential robust discussion: where is the line between archaeology and tomb raiding?

We often read of new discoveries of tombs or graves found by archaeologists. I would like to know just who gives these people the right to uncover the final resting place of anyone, be it kings, monarchs or any other individual? Where do we draw the line on illegal grave robbers, or opening thousand year old tombs?

If I, or any one today were to die and be buried with a $300,000 [11.5 million baht] ring on our finger, and someone were to dig up our grave and steal the ring, they would be subject to arrest, and a long prison term. So why then, is it okay to rob the graves or tombs of ancients, in the name of archaeology?

Every living being deserves the right to be buried after death, and expect his eternal resting place to be sacred, and not disturbed.

CHARLIE BROWN
Soi Keow Noi
Pattaya

Sunken vessel a Chinese trader: Businessman

Sunken vessel off Roxas City not Spanish galleon, but a Chinese vessel sunk during World War II, claims a local who had been an eyewitness to the event.

27 June 2006 (Sun.Star Iloilo) – Sunken vessel off Roxas City not Spanish galleon, but a Chinese vessel sunk during World War II, claims a local who had been an eyewitness to the event.

Sunken vessel a Chinese trader: Businessman

A RESTAURATEUR in Villa, Iloilo recently said that the sunken vessel between Guimaras and Villa beach is not a galleon but a Chinese trading vessel.

Honorato Espinosa, owner of Tatoy’s Manokan in Villa Beach recently clarified that local fishermen salvaged several artifacts from a sunken galleon in the said area 20 years ago.


Related Books:
Shipwrecks and Sunken Treasure in Southeast Asia by T. Wells

Shadows of a lost empire

A travel piece on visiting the Angkor Archaeological Park.

25 June 2006 (Contra Costa Times) – A travel piece on visiting the Angkor Archaeological Park.

Contra Costa Times, 25 June 2006

Shadows of a lost empire

TWO THINGS YOU NEED when exploring the ancient city of Angkor in Cambodia: First — hire a quick-witted guide who can snake you in and out of temples without getting tangled with tour bus crowds.

The other must-have is a swimming pool. Cambodia is one hot little country and even the most intrepid temple prowler will want to slide into cool water after poking around the tumbled ruins of these looming structures of the ancient Khmer empire.


Related Books:
Angkor: A Tour of the Monuments by T. Zephir and L. Invernizzi
Angkor: Cambodia’s Wondrous Khmer Temples, Fifth Edition (Odyssey Illustrated Guide) by D. Rooney
Angkor: Celestial Temples of the Khmer by J. Ortner
Khmer Civilization and Angkor (Orchid Guides) by D. L. Snellgrove

Delegation returns from Brunei heritage exploration

50-member expedition to survey Brunei’s heritage in Borneo returns with significant leads for future research, including artefacts and manuscripts to trace Brunei’s monarchic lineage.

23 June 2006 (Borneo Bulletin) – 50-member expedition to survey Brunei’s heritage in Borneo returns with significant leads for future research, including artefacts and manuscripts to trace Brunei’s monarchic lineage.

Delegation returns from Brunei heritage exploration

The delegation of the ‘Jejak Kesultanan – Penyelidikan dan Pengumpulan Sejarah Brunei di Borneo’ returned from their exploration late Wednesday afternoon, RTB reported. The objective of recovering Brunei’s heritage believed kept in a number of areas in Borneo has apparently been achieved.

Most of the research, he said, were made along their land journey. They also discovered a Muslim mausoleum, the Makam Puteri Suraha in Sukadana, which is believed to relate to the Bruneian community pertaining to Islamic development in East Kalimantan, hence its ties to Brunei’s monarchy lineage.