Paola CALANCA, EFEO (French School of Asian Studies)
LIU Yi-ch’ang, Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan
Frank MUYARD, National Central University, Taiwan
Alain THOTE, CRCAO (EPHE)
The Asia Research Institute (ARI) of the National University of Singapore (NUS) invites applications from citizens of Asian countries currently enrolled in a fulltime Master’s or PhD degrees at a university in an Asian country (except Singapore) for consideration for the award of Asian Graduate Student Fellowships. Offered to graduate students working in the Humanities and Social Sciences on Southeast Asian topics, the fellowship will allow the recipients to be based at NUS for an ‘in residence fellowship’ for a period of eight (8) weeks. The aim of the fellowship is to enable scholars to make full use of the wide range of resources held in the libraries of NUS and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. The fellowship will commence on 23 May 2016, and scholars are expected to make a presentation on their work at the “Singapore Graduate Forum on Southeast Asian Studies” to be organised in the middle of July 2016.
The Indonesian government has received an offer by Nusantara Museum in Delft, the Netherlands, for the return of some 14,000 artifacts held by the museum, an official said on Monday.
“I have just received the letter this week,” the Education and Culture Ministry’s director general of culture, Kacung Marijan, said after opening a workshop on museums on Sunday evening in Yogyakarta.
Based on the information, he said the collection would be returned to Indonesia because the museum was facing financial difficulties.
The 100-year-old museum was the only one in the Netherlands dedicated to collecting artistic and cultural artifacts from Indonesia, a country that the Netherlands colonized for 350 years. Noted fable puppeteer Ki Ledjar Soebroto of Yogyakarta was frequently invited to perform at the museum.
The Rave Scholarships support practical training for young curators, restorers, museum technicians and cultural managers from countries in transition and developing countries. Previous successful applicants have included Southeast Asians. Closing date for applications is April 15, 2016.
Cambodian antiquities, including two Angkor-era statues, were returned to the government by a Norwegian private art collector at a ceremony at the National Museum in Phnom Penh yesterday.
The 11 artworks – the most valuable of which were a ninth century Preah Ko-style head of Shiva and a late 12th century Bayon-style male divinity – were handed over by businessman Morten Bosterud at an event presided over by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Hom Namhong.
“I see myself not as a donor but as a returner of these art objects to their true owner,” Bosterud said. “I have had time to have a brief look around this museum and it made me realise that my decision was correct, and that my previous thoughts of being a caretaker of these objects was not correct.”
He added that he was certain the National Museum would take good care of the objects, display them to the public and use them for educational purposes.
After a formal request by the government of India, the Asian Civilisations Museum will return a bronze statue of Uma Parameshvari, which was identified as stolen in the recent high-profile antiquities looting case of Subhash Kapoor.
The 11th-century bronze sculpture depicting Hindu goddess Uma Parameshvari is among hundreds of stolen cultural artefacts amounting to over $148 million in an ongoing international art smuggling case. They are believed to have been looted and sold to museums by disgraced New York art dealer Subhash Kapoor, 65, who is awaiting trial in India on charges of theft and smuggling.
In a press statement, the ACM said it had bought the sculpture from Kapoor’s now-defunct gallery Art of the Past for US$650,000 (S$900,000) in 2007.
The Honor Frost Foundation and Flinders University is offering two three-year PhD Scholarships in Underwater Archaeology, one for a citizen of an Eastern Mediterranean country, but the other is open to citizens of any country. Applications close 7 December 2015.
The Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies – Yusof Ishak Institute has openings for Postdocs and Visiting Fellowships, focusing on state formation in Southeast Asia, and links between Southeast Asia and India or China. Applications close 24 November 2015.
The existence of moated mounds in the archaeological record of north-east Thailand has long been known, the majority constructed during the earlier first millennium AD. Despite considerable research, the purpose of the substantial and sometimes multiple moats surrounding raised occupation mounds has remained a mystery. Combining locational, hydrological and rainfall data with the archaeological evidence, this study of the moated mounds of the Khorat Plateau seeks to resolve the question through statistical analysis. The results suggest that water storage may have been the primary purpose of the moats, enabling communities to survive dry seasons and droughts.
Almost half a century has elapsed since the first area excavation of a prehistoric site in north-east Thailand at Non Nok Tha (Bayard & Solheim 2010) (Figure 1). A long and still unresolved debate has ensued, centred on the chronology of the establishment of rice farming and bronze casting, that has dovetailed with further controversies on the pace and nature of social change. Results obtained during the past 20 years of fieldwork focused on the upper Mun Valley of north-east Thailand, together with a new series of AMS radiocarbon determinations from key sites, have thrown into sharp relief contrasting interpretations of two issues: one centres on the timing and origin of the Neolithic settlement; the other on the date and impact of copper-base metallurgy. A consensus through debate would bring us to a tipping point that would see Southeast Asian prehistory turn to more interesting issues of cultural change.