Speed review: Archaeology news from the last two weeks

Between the Christmas and New Year celebrations, and my two weeks at the field, I didn’t have the time to cover any of the archaeology news that has surfaced in the last three weeks. In Wednesday Rojak style, here’s the quick summary of what’s been happening in Southeast Asia over the last three weeks: Skeletal remains in Malaysia, Digital Reconstruction in Cambodia, Restoration works in Vietnam and a Construction Mess in Indonesia.

  • With a new Thai government in power – the third one in two years – Cambodia can look forward to restarting the talks over the disputed border demarcation in the vicinity of Preah Vihear (Border talks to continue, 30 Dec 2008 [Link no longer active])
  • Gearing up for it’s 1,000-year-old anniversary, the ancient citadel of Thang Long in Hanoi is now open to public (Historic Thang Long Citadel explored, 1 Jan 2009 [Link no longer active])
  • In Malaysia, a villager stumbles upon a jar burial in the state of Malacca, a find representing the first jar burial find in the peninsular side of Malaysia. The burial is supposed to be relatively recent, though, dating to the 18th century (Villager stumbles upon ancient human skeletal remains, 2 Jan 2009 [Link no longer active])
  • The UNESCO World Heritage Site of My Son in Vietnam is earmarked for restoration work (My Son sanctuary to be restored at $16.5 million, 2 Jan 2009)
  • Vietnam to formally submit its bid for the Thang Long Citadel to be included as a world heritage site this year (Ministry to request UNESCO heritage site status for Hanoi citadel, 7 Jan 2009 [Link no longer active])
  • How can rice crash a computer? When you’re trying to recreate millions of blades in a digital recreation of Angkor (Digital Angkor offers clues to daily life at the ancient site, 8 Jan 2009)
  • The construction of a information centre on the very remains of ancient Majaphit gets a redesign after reports that artefacts were being damaged (Construction at Majapahit Site to Continue, 8 Jan 2009)
  • Jobers Bersales laments the looting of cultural artefacts from a construction of a tunnel in Cebu (Heritage tragedies, 8 Jan 2009 [Link no longer active])
  • A special team made up of architects and archaeologists is set up to determine the extent of damage and make recommendations for the construction of the information center on top of the Majapahit site (Special team to save damage Trowulan site, 9 Jan 2009)
  • The 9th century Hoa Lai Towers, which were restored a few years ago, now have blackened and rotting bricks. Signs of shoddy work? (Relic restoration work mysteriously rotting, 10 Jan 2009 [Link no longer active])
  • A Vietnamese man learns the art of bronze casting and builds up a workshop from scratch (Breaking the mold to save bronze drums, 11 Jan 2009 [Link no longer active])
  • The Indonesian government issues a mea culpa over its involvement in the damaging of artefacts while trying to build a Majapahit Information Center (Govt ruined Majapahit artifacts, 15 Jan 2009

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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