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
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.
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
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
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
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While the “Movius Line” may no longer represent a valid cultural division between Early and Middle Pleistocene hominins in South and Southeast Asia, it still offers a useful geographical and ecological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.
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.
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.
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.