Taking a short break from posting and I hope to resume near the end of September. Last week I submitted my thesis for examination and it is now the end of my Australian stint! It has been a good three and a half years.
This weekend I leave Canberra for good – it’ll be time for short holiday but also a big move! If all goes to plan, I will be broadcasting next from Bangkok, where I will be based for the foreseeable future. If there are any readers based in Bangkok who would like to meet up (or even better, help me settle in!), send me a message!
In the meantime, while I won’t be posting new stories for a while, the Southeast Asian Archaeology Photo Festival will begin next week! I received over 20 submissions, and as expected, they are all very diverse! Stay tuned for a couple of new photos every day.
From the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association Secretary-General, Ian Liley:
Dear IPPA community
It is time to start planning the next IPPA conference. It is scheduled for 2018, as per the four-year cycle described in the IPPA Constitution. 2018 may seem like a long time in the future, but to have a successful meeting we need all the time we can get for planning and preparation.
If you are interested, please discuss the idea with your local colleagues before responding to me. The congress in Cambodia earlier this year attracted almost 1000 people in total and was a major logistical exercise with several very serious issues to deal with. In this context, one of the most important factors, other than a suitable venue with a range of accommodation options, is substantial financial support. To keep IPPA affordable for regional colleagues, we rely very heavily on government assistance. This support comes not only through allowing local colleagues to work on IPPA matters before, during and, for some, after the Congress, but also in providing a substantial amount of money as well as various sorts of ‘in-kind’ material support to help cover costs. In Cambodia, the National Government and various authorities were very generous in both ways, which is one reason the meeting was such a success. The same goes for previous congresses. Very few external agencies can provide help on the scale required. Wenner Gren is always supportive, but can grant us a maximum of USD20,000, which does not go far. Intensive efforts to find other external sources of money for the Cambodian meeting were not successful, but should always be considered as well.
The IPPA Executive is not seeking detailed bids at this stage, only expressions of interest. Please think carefully about the foregoing matters before responding. If you wish to nominate, please submit your expression of interest by FRIDAY 31 OCTOBER 2014.
Dr Lindsay Lloyd-Smith recently gave a talk at the Sarawak Museum on the ongoing work of the Central Borneo Project, focused on the Kelabit Highlands. Nick Gani, who gave me the heads up to this article, is also involved in the project and instrumental in coordinating archaeology education for undergraduate students at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak. Both Lindsay and Nick are personal friends of mine.
Project Manusastra capacity building aim to develop local humanities research sounds like an excellent initiative, but it makes me wonder if training programmes like these teach Southeast Asians to think like westerners rather than to develop a local theory of our own. Does anybody have any experiences in the differences between ‘western’ archaeological theory and how different Southeast Asian groups think about archaeology?
If you’re still keen to share your archaeology photos, I’m equally keen to post them up! The deadline for photo submissions in August 28. Send me a photo related to Southeast Asian Archaeology with a caption and your name (and affiliation, optional). The virtual exhibition will begin next week!
The Vietnamese Ministry of Culture has released an advisory to temples and heritage properties discouraging the use of non-Vietnamese lion statues. It seems like an attempt to maintain an idea of “pure” Vietnamese-ness… whatever that means.