Rare book on early Singapore stories back in Republic

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The Sejarah Melayu at the National Libray of Singapore. Source: Straits Times, 20190123

via Straits Times, 23 Jan 2019: The National Library has acquired an 1840 edition of the Sejarah Melayu, edited by Munshi Abdullah. The book is on display at the National Library until March 24.

A book that holds the stories of early Singapore, including Sang Nila Utama’s experience on the island when he arrived in 1299, has made its way back to the Republic.

The Sejarah Melayu, or Malay Annals, was printed in Singapore in the 1840s and edited by Munsyi Abdullah, a scribe for Sir Stamford Raffles.

Source: Rare book on early Singapore stories back in Republic, Singapore News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

Newly Declared Heritage Sites in the Philippines

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Pindangan Ruins. Source: Christa I. De La Cruz, Spot.ph 20190120

via Spot.ph, 20 January 2019: Newly-declared heritage sites in the Philippines worth a visit.

Pindangan Ruins. Source: Christa I. De La Cruz, Spot.ph 20190120

Pindangan Ruins. Source: Christa I. De La Cruz, Spot.ph 20190120

Heritage sites will always deserve to be on everyone’s bucket list. It’s even better when they’re declared cultural treasures by international agencies or local groups, because the recognition not only helps highlight these places’ significance in our culture and history, but also helps in the preservation and protection of these awe-inspiring structures and natural wonders.

If you’ve already seen your fair share of local heritage sites, here’s a new list of recently declared National Cultural Treasures and Important Cultural Properties by the National Museum of the Philippines. Whether you’re visiting up north, traveling to Visayas and Mindanao, or even just looking for a fun weekend date, these places are worth a stop.

Source: Newly Declared Heritage Sites in the Philippines | SPOT.ph

Millennia-Old Thai Antiquities Returned From US Collections

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via Khaosod English, 17 January 2019: Collectors from the US return 46 artefacts, mostly from the Ban Chiang period, to Thailand earlier this month.

BANGKOK — Forty-six ancient artifacts aged thousands of years have been returned to Thailand from collectors in the United States, the Culture Ministry announced Thursday.

Source: Millennia-Old Thai Antiquities Returned From US Collections

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Laos: Cave fossils shed light on the world of 80,000 years ago

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Source: Uffe Wilken, SEA-Globe 20190110

via SEA Globe, 10 January 2019: Feature on excavations of the oldest modern human remains in Southeast Asia, found in Laos.

Source: Uffe Wilken, SEA-Globe 20190110

Source: Uffe Wilken, SEA-Globe 20190110

At 80,000 years old, some human fossils found in a cave in northeastern Laos are the oldest known remains of modern humans in mainland Southeast Asia. Together with fossils from animals, they give us a snapshot of life in this part of the world millennia ago

Source: Laos: Cave fossils shed light on the world of 80,000 years ago

Categories: Laos

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Plastic pioneers: Hominin biogeography east of the Movius Line during the Pleistocene

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Lowland Palawan by Noel Amano. Source: EurekaAlert, 20190128

via Archaeological Research in Asia, 25 January 2019: A new paper by Roberts and Amano looking at human occupation of different types of environments in Southeast Asia suggests that modern humans are ecologically distinct from other hominin species.

Lowland Palawan by Noel Amano. Source: EurekaAlert, 20190128

Lowland Palawan by Noel Amano. Source: EurekaAlert, 20190128

Plastic pioneers: Hominin biogeography east of the Movius Line during the Pleistocene

While the “Movius Line” may no longer represent a valid cultural division between Early and Middle Pleistocene hominins in South and Southeast Asia, it still offers a useful geographical and ecological window into changing processes of colonization by different members of the genus Homo. In this paper, we initially review the palaeoenvironmental and cultural record associated with Homo erectus and Homo floresiensis to argue for a relatively homogeneous adaptive strategy utilized by hominins moving east of this notional line during the Early and Middle Pleistocene. We then contrast this to the rapid dispersal of Homo sapiens into South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Melanesia, from at least 45,000 years ago, associated with specialized subsistence and technological adaptations to a variety of environmental settings. While earlier members of our genus appear to have followed riverine and lacustrine corridors, whose situation varied with periods of climate change, Homo sapiens specialized in adaptations to tropical rainforests, faunally depauperate island settings, montane environments, and deep-water marine habitats. After evaluating whether this distinction may be one of taphonomic and survey bias, and reviewing potential methodological developments that may facilitate further investigation, we suggest that the adaptive and cultural plasticity of our species enabled pioneering colonization and occupation not previously seen in this part of the world. This plasticity allowed our species to remain in this region through ever-increasing climatic instability and become the last surviving hominin in Late Pleistocene South Asia and Sahul.

Source: Plastic pioneers: Hominin biogeography east of the Movius Line during the Pleistocene – ScienceDirect

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In year of khon, shall we dance?

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via The Nation, 26 January 2018: As Thailand takes chair of ASEAN this year, it plans to promote Khon dance (which was listed as a form of Intangible Cultural Heritage and with the Cambodian version) through a series of performances and seminars.

Now that Thailand has the rest of Southeast Asia’s attention, it’s preparing to show off

Source: In year of khon, shall we dance?

Culture Ministry supports land encroachment prevention

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via Khmer Times, 25 Jan 2019: Highlights from last year’s activities of the Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts.

Source: Khmer Times, 20190125

The Culture and Fine Arts Ministry says there are still challenges the ministry has to address in order to protect the Kingdom’s culture and heritage sites, despite the work it managed to complete last year.

Ministry spokesman Thai Norak Sathya yesterday during an annual meeting said the ministry worked hard to protect the Kingdom’s culture and heritage sites, adding that it managed to complete 608 out of 636 tasks in 2018.

Mr Norak Sathya said despite this achievement, there are still challenges yet to be addressed, such as encroachment at heritage sites and illegal logging.

Source: Culture Ministry supports land encroachment prevention – Khmer Times

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Categories: Cambodia

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From cursed treasure to British warplanes: the buried mysteries of Myanmar

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Source: Frontier Myanmar 20190120

via Frontier Myanmar, 20 Jan 2019: A rundown of Myanmar’s archaeological mysteries – some legendary, but some also real and have been featured on this website previously: the search for buried Spitfire warplanes in Yangon, the search for the Dhammazedi bell, and the tomb of the Ayutthaya King Uthumphon near Mandalay.

Source: Frontier Myanmar 20190120

Source: Frontier Myanmar 20190120

DYNASTIC WARS, encounters with pirates and mercenaries, wars with the British and the Japanese occupation have shaped the texture of Myanmar – and left some of its biggest mysteries deep underground. These are a few of the most tantalising.

Source: From cursed treasure to British warplanes: the buried mysteries of Myanmar | Frontier Myanmar

Ancient sites threatened by clearing

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via Phnom Penh Post, 16 Jan 2019:

Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts experts have expressed concerns that ancient sites are threatened by land clearing.

The sites were classified into three types – religious, such as temples and shrines; ancient burial sites, which have suffered from raiders seeking precious objects; and other ancient sites including villages, ponds, hills and bridges.

Voeun Vuthy, the director at the ministry’s Department of Archaeology and Prehistory, told The Post the ancient sites are being disturbed by public and forest land clearing.

He said four ancient sites were locked in disputes and in court procedures. One is located in Kandal province’s Ang Snuol district and involved land dredging.

Source: Ancient sites threatened by clearing, National, Phnom Penh Post

Categories: Cambodia