Public Lecture: The Archaeology of Buddhist Sumatra

The Archaeology of Buddhist Sumatra
Date: 22 October 2009
Time: 4 – 6 pm
Venue: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Seminar Room II
Registration Required: Email Betty (betty@iseas.edu.sg) by 21 Oct 2009

Buddhistic remains in the form of stone and metal imagery and/or brick-built temples have been found at several locations throughout the island ranging from Aceh in the north west to the Palembang region of southern Sumatra. This talk will review the various finds of imagery and the implications of such recoveries which mainly infer links with local rulers or with foreign traders. The Buddhist sangha, although possibly, left some minor influences in the Sumatran adat (culture), did not seem to have developed into a vigorous or sustainable form among indigenous communities throughout the island in the past. This perhaps suggests an over-dependence on overseas trade which, by the sixteenth century, was increasingly Islamic in nature.

About the Speaker:
E. Edwards McKinnon obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in art history from Cornell University, USA. He has interests in ancient inter-regional maritime trade and Indian (particularly Tamil) influences in Sumatra, especially the vestiges of both Buddhism and early Islamic influences. He has worked in northern Sumatra, where he pioneered excavation at Kota Cina, a medieval harbour site near Medan and in Aceh, and published widely on the history and archaeology of Sumatra. He has travelled extensively throughout the island and is familiar with much of the landscape of Sumatra and with numerous early archaeological sites.

* Please note that this lecture takes place at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, (ISEAS), in Seminar Room II.

Due to limited seating, registration is required. Please R.S.V.P to betty@iseas.edu.sg or fax 6775 6264 by 21st October, Wednesday. For more enquires, please call Betty at 6870 2472.

Successful registrants will be notified by email.

This lecture is free. Light refreshments will be served before the lecture.

This lecture is jointly organised by the Research and Publication Unit of ACM and Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, ISEAS.

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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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