Second excavation of Nanhai No. 1 to commence

Chinese archaeologists will begin their second excavation of the Nanhai No. 1 at the Maritime Silk Road Museum to determine, basically, which end of the wreck is which. Readers may recall that the entire wreck, including the seabed was transported from under the water into containment at the museum, so visitors will actually be able to observe archaeologists working on the wreck.

Second excavation of sunken vessel ‘Nanhai No. 1’ begins
People’s Daily, 22 March 2011
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Family finds terracotta statue in cemetary

A family funeral in Vietnam’s Quang Ngai province took a strange turn, when after digging a grave they found a terracotta statue. The statue has been handed to local museum officials for identification and dating.

Terracotta statue from Qung Ngai Province. Vietnam Net Bridge, 20110318

Ancient statue unveiled in cemetery
Vietnam Net Bridge, 18 March 2011
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The Belitung Shipwreck as a symbol of international cooperation

The famed Tang Treasures recovered from the Belitung Shipwreck are now being displayed to the public (for the first time, I believe) at the new ArtScience Museum in Singapore. The wreck, which was excavated slightly over a decade ago is unique for the quantity of the artefacts recovered and its unusual context: primarily Chinese cargo in what is essentially a Arab-style boat. This editorial from Wreck Watch discusses the excavation and display of the Tang Treasures in the larger treasure-hunting and public interest context.

Editorial: Tang Treasures, Monsoon Winds and a Storm in a Teacup
Wreck Watch International, 13 March 2011
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Burmese temple painted gold over its original white

The Myanmar government’s done it again… a prominent ancient pagoda in northwest Myanmar has been given a repaint from its original white to gold without consultation with monks, scholars or the public. The change of colour is rumoured to fulfil ‘magical’ conditions.

The Yaza Mani Sula Kaung Hmu Daw Pagoda is given a new coat of gold paint over its original white. The Irrawady, 20110311

Locals Unhappy About Ancient Pagoda’s Golden Facelift
The Irrawaddy, 11 March 2011
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Special: The Repatriation of Cambodian artefacts

Yesterday (10 Mar 2011) I had the brilliant opportunity to witness the return of artefacts smuggled out of Cambodia by the Australian government at a ceremony at the Cambodian embassy in Canberra. The reception was hosted by His Excellency Chum Sounry, the Ambassador for Cambodia.

Repatriated artefacts from Australia to Cambodia
Repatriated artefacts from Australia to Cambodia

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Asia’s heritage sites strain under the weight of tourism

Tourism to ancient heritage sites is a major source of income for many Asian nations, but the signs of wear and tear to the monuments are fast becoming visible.

photo credit: bob|P-&-S

Tourist Boom Puts Asia’s Treasures at Risk
AFP, via Jakarta Globe, 08 March 2011
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Putting the sacred back into ancient temples

A local advocacy group in Lopburi, Thailand, is seeking ways to restore the sense of sacredness into its ancient temples, after dissatisfaction over the way ancient temples have become predominantly used for moneymaking entertainment and tourism activities.

Wat Phra Sri Mahathat, Lop Buri Province. Bangkok Post, 20110307

Cherishing the Sacred
Bangkok Post, 07 March 2011
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Malaysia in bid for World Heritage Committee seat

Malaysia, through her representative Datuk Zuraina Majid, hopes to gain a seat in the Unesco World Heritage Committee. Datuk Zuraina was the archaeologist who excavated the remains of Perak Man in the Lenggong Valley of Perak.

Malaysia to vie for seat in world heritage committee
The Star, 7 March 2011
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Immerse yourself in ancient Singapore in a new online game

In what is probably the first of its kind for the region, Singapore has just launched a new online role-playing game called the World of Temasek, which lets players immerse themselves into 14th century Singapore. The game is free to play (registration needed) and is supposed to be historically accurate. I’ve signed up for an account, but haven’t had the chance to give it a spin yet – hopefully I can write a review later.

World of Temasek

World of Temasek (online game)

Live life in 14th century S’pore – virtually
The Straits Times, 04 March 2011
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Exhibition introduces Islamic innovation to the world

I visited the Islamic Arts Museum in Kuala Lumpur last year, and it boasted an impressive collection in a number of galleries. Their newest exhibition showcases inventions and innovations that have originated from the Muslim world, that we enjoy today.

Manuscript on traditional healing, probably originating from the Malay Peninsula on display at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia. The Star, 20110306

Ancient wisdom
The Star, 06 March 2011
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