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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.