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.
The National Museum of Cambodia is boosted by a full-time staff of archaeological team, whose work is to restore and conserve the museums’s ceramics collection. This is made possible by funding from the Smithsonian Institute.
Smithsonian funds new lab
Phnom Penh Post, 25 September 2008
Archaeological remains from the southern Vietnamese site of Ia Mor reveals human remains, stone tools and jewellery.
Remains of prehistoric men unearthed
Vietnam Net Bridge, 24 September 2008
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.
The Star, 24 September 2008
The Philippine National Museum in Cebu steps up security at a construction site in Cebu after reports of looting.
Security tightened at construction site near National Museum
Cebu Daily News, 24 September 2008
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
Spurred by the discovery of the ancient Majapahit’s kingdom’s town square, the head of the Trowulan Conservation Centre is tasking the archaeologists to press on with locating the kingdom’s ancient royal palace.
Archeologists challenged to locate Majapahit palace
Jakarta Post, 22 September 2008
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
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
The coverage of the Neolithic skeletons unearthed in Sarawak continues… (Read my fuller account here).
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