Ancient bronze statue centre of police investigation into museum

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The Radya Pustaka Musem is in the news again, after the discovery that a substantial number of bronze artefacts in the museum’s collection are in fact, fakes. The oldest museum in Indonesia was in the news late last year when a theft ring was busted, involving some of the staff of the museum who made copies of the museum’s artefacts and sold off the originals.

Solo Police Investigates Theft of Museum’s Bronze Statue
Tempo Interactive, 25 September 2008 Read More

Southeast Asia's Common Roots

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Southeast Asia is the crossroads to a number of human migrations, the largest of which must have been the Austronesian migration. Somewhere between 8,000 to 6,000 years ago, the Austronesians migrated from Southeast China or Taiwan, down the Philippine islands before splitting east to Polynesia and West to Southeast Asia. Based on linguistic and archaeological evidence, the Austronesians are though to be the precursors to modern Polynesians and Malays. This travel piece from Malaysia’s Star visits what may be one of the homelands of the Austronesians – Tanshishan, in Southeast China.

Common roots
The Star, 24 September 2008
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Seized Maitum artefacts may represent another tribe

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Stylistic differences indicate that the anthropomorphic jars that were seized earlier as part of an illegal haul in Maitum may represent a different tribe from that was excavated in 1991. The looters apparently used the published archaeological report on the Maitum jars as a reference when they recovered the jars years before.

Seized cultural artifacts in Maitum: remnants from yet another ancient Mindanawon tribe
MindaNews, 22 September 2008
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Philippine pottery shard reveals early writing

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A potsherd adds to another piece of the puzzle about early Philippine writing systems. Most writing systems in Southeast Asia were derived from India (with the exception of China in Vietnam), and the Philippines has remarkably few paleographic references, with the earliest dating to 900 AD.

Shard find in Intramuros shows early form of writing
Malaya, 22 September 2008
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Military relics reveals life and death of the Sandakan Death Marches

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Archaeology doesn’t necessarily have to go way back thousands of years to understand the lives and times of people who lived before – sometimes it’s as recent as World War II, as revealed by a cache of Australian military relics unearthed in Sabah. They are the grim remnants of the infamous Sandakan Death Marches, which led to the death of some 6,000 military personnel and civilians.


Unearthed: a final message from Sandakan’s doomed soldiers
Sydney Morning Herald, 22 September 2008
Photo gallery
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More reports on the Neolithic skeletons from Sarawak

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The coverage of the Neolithic skeletons unearthed in Sarawak continues… (Read my fuller account here).

Malaysian archaeologists find complete Neolithic skeletons
AFP, via The Nation (Pakistan), 19 September 2008

Neolithic skeletons found: report
SBS, 19 September 2008

Skeletons shed light on humans during Neolithic age

The Star, 19 September 2008
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