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Singapore begins first detailed archaeological surveys on Pulau Ubin

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via Channel NewsAsia, 22 December 2017:

SINGAPORE: The National Parks Board (NParks) and ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS) on Friday (Dec 22) announced the start of the first phase of in-depth archaeological surveys on Pulau Ubin. The surveys started a week ago and are being conducted at two World War Two gun emplacements of Ubin’s Anti-Motor Torpedo Boat (AMTB) battery, which were built north of the island between 1936 and 1939 to defend the Johor Straits. The gun emplacements now reside at a National Police Cadet Corps (NPCC) campsite. Surveys will take place in three phases over 18 months, said ISEAS associate fellow and archaeologist Lim Chen Sian during a media visit which was attended by Second Minister for National Development and Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee. “Previously there were only pedestrian surveys involving mainly visual inspection, as early as 1949,” Mr Lim added. “Now we have the resources … to figure out what really happened here. “At this stage it’s really about documenting, mapping out, creating an inventory and blueprint.” Depending on results of the first phase, more surveys may be carried out at the gun emplacements or at other sites on the western side of Ubin.  The detailed study of the archaeological and historical remains at these sites will involve fieldwork such as identifying, mapping and recording heritage features – along with basic sampling such as surface collections. Sub-surface probes may also be carried out to analyse areas with a high probability of buried remains. The surveys will complement and add to ongoing cultural heritage and biodiversity research on the island, and serve as a guide for NParks to strategise conservation efforts, according to the agency’s Ubin director Robert Teo. “We will explore the possibility of future public access,” he said. “The idea is to preserve (historical sites like these) for future generations to enjoy.”

Source: Singapore begins first detailed archaeological surveys on Pulau Ubin

Categories: Singapore


Disputed Khmer temple to be renovated by Archaeological Survey of India

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19 November 2007 (, Bangkok Post) – Preah Vihear, a hotly contested khmer temple that straddles between the Thai and Cambodian borders is to be renovated by a neutral party – the Archaeological Survey of India. The temple sits on a high cliff and rests on Cambodian soil; however, entrance into the temple is via the Thai side of the border. I’m not sure how this move resolves any diplomatic tensions over the site, however.

The other interesting aspect of the two stories is the involvement of the Archaeological Survey of India, which has been active in restoring many Hindu temples throughout Southeast Asia. Notably, it had helped restore the Prambanan temples in Indonesia after it as damaged during last year’s earthquake as well as the Ta Prohm, another Angkoran temple.

Preah Vihear, Creative Commons image by Hintz Family
Creative Commons image by Hintz Family

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Survey to pinpoint sites of archaeological interest part of new national heritage plan in Singapore

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via Straits Times, 09 January 2018:

Singapore News -Potential areas with archaeological significance could include the mouth of the Singapore River and other sites with ancient settlements and trade activities…

Source: Survey to pinpoint sites of archaelogical interest part of new national heritage plan, Singapore News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

Categories: Singapore


[Lecture] Ten Years of Archaeological Research in Indonesia: Highlights from the National Archaeology Research Centre

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Readers in Singapore may be interested in this lecture at ISEAS on Wednesday.

Ten Years of Archaeological Research in Indonesia: Highlights from the National Archaeology Research Centre
Date: 08 Aug 2018
Time: 10:00am – 11:30am
Venue: ISEAS Seminar Room 2

About the Lecture
The National Archaeology Research Centre (PUSLIT ARKENAS) was established shortly after Indonesia’s independence, on the foundations of the Dutch colonial Antiquity Service (Oudheidkundige Dienst, 1913). For about 105 years after its creation, PUSLIT ARKENAS has conducted archaeological surveys and research on land as well as underwater throughout the archipelago. The last ten years saw groundbreaking discoveries from the prehistory to the WWII periods. These discoveries will be presented at this seminar. These endeavors range from the Harimau cave, a site once inhabited by the Sriwijayan people on the estuary of Musi River (South Sumatra), to the early Mataram period Liyangan settlement site in Java, on the slope of Mt Sindoro (9th c.), and lastly, the WWII shipwreck of the German U-boat which sank in the Java Sea.

About the Speakers
Bambang Budi Utomo is an archaeologist at the Indonesian National Archaeology Research Centre (PUSLIT ARKENAS). He has participated in numerous research projects in Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, and Lesser Sunda over the years. He has also written for various national newspapers and served as a reference source for semi-documentary films produced by private television stations. His primary research focuses on the Sriwijaya and Malayu periods, specifically on the influences of Sriwijaya in Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, the Malay Peninsula, and Southern Thailand. More recently he has used maritime archaeology and history to try to understand Sriwijaya from a maritime cultural perspective in the hope of helping Indonesians understand their strong maritime connections that come from living in an archipelago.

Shinatria Adhityatama graduated from Gadjah Mada University in 2012 with a BA in Archaeology. He has been a maritime archaeologist at the National Archaeology Research Centre (PUSLIT ARKENAS) in Jakarta, Indonesia since 2013. He is an experienced diver with more than 400 logged dives since 2006. Shinatria has been involved in domestic and international maritime archaeology training and maritime archaeological projects in Indonesia and Australian waters, including the exploration of a German U-boat in Java Sea in 2013; the exploration of prehistoric maritime culture in Misool Island, Raja Ampat in 2014; a survey of the HMAS Perth in the Sunda Strait in 2014; the exploration of underwater archaeology in the outer islands of Indonesia; Natuna Island in 2015; research for shipwrecks around Belitung Island in 2015; the Fortuyn Project in 2016; submerged prehistoric landscapes in Matano Lake in 2016; and the HMAS Perth project in 2017.

ArchaeoGlobe: Join the first Global Assessment of Archaeological Knowledge on Land Use

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The ArchaeoGlobe Project is a “massively collaborative effort” (see Gowers & Nielsen 2009) to assess archaeological knowledge on human land use across the globe over the past 10,000 years.

Join our broad network of archaeologists to share your expert knowledge on past land use across the globe, through a questionnaire on regional land use in 10 distinct timeslices (10,000 bp, 8,000 bp, 6,000 bp, 4,000 bp, 3,000 bp, 2,000 bp, 1,000 bp, 1500 CE, 1750 CE, 1850 CE). With your regional expertise, we can build the first global inventory of archaeological expert knowledge on Earth’s long-term transformation by human use of land.

View the global map of regions and subregions in Google Maps.
ArchaeoGlobe Survey Structure Diagram
Archaeologists completing the questionnaire for at least 4 subregions will be listed as co-authors on the resulting paper (unless they opt out), which we aim to publish in a high profile cross-disciplinary journal (e.g. Nature, Science, PNAS). Filling out the questionnaire for a single subregion takes 7-10 minutes, so we are asking co-authors to devote 1-2 hours of their time. Coauthors are invited to participate further in paper production, as desired.

Survey-based approach, ‘crowdsourcing’ expert knowledge
Co-authorship for substantial knowledge contributions
All results will be fully available in an open-source format
Assess levels of knowledge on four land use categories:
Extensive agriculture
Intensive agriculture

Source: ArchaeoGlobe

Krabi’s archaeological wonders

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Tha Phi Hua To, Krabi. Source: Bangkok Post 20150407

Thailand’s Krabi province is best known for its beaches, but this feature shows some of the other interesting prehistoric archaeological sites also present.

Tha Phi Hua To, Krabi. Source: Bangkok Post 20150407

Tha Phi Hua To, Krabi. Source: Bangkok Post 20150407

Krabi’s hidden wonder
Bangkok Post, 07 April 2015

Krabi’s reputation as a tourist destination on the Andaman coast needs no promotion. But apart from its famous beaches and islands, the province has several important archaeological sites, including the oldest site in Thailand and Asia, the Lang Rongrien Rockshelter. A recent Fine Arts Department trip to Krabi revealed the significance of these archaeological sites as well as man’s impact on them.

“The Lang Rongrien site was surveyed by Prof Douglas Anderson from Brown University in 1983-5. At 40,000 years old, it is the oldest site in Asia. Pieces of bones from the Neanderthals were found there,” said Praphid Phongmas, senior archaeologist. A number of objects, including three pedestaled pots, pottery, stone tools and animal bones, were also unearthed.

About 3km from the Lang Rongrien site is the Khao Na Wang Mi archaeological site on a range of limestone mountains. There is evidence of prehistoric humans here, with temporary shelters and graveyards 2,000-4,000 years old (New Stone Age) being found.

Full story here.

2nd LiDAR survey of Angkor to start over greater area; promises new discoveries

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New lidar survey of Angkor. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20150404

A new LiDAR survey of Angkor will start this year, which will cover more regions such as the rest of Phnom Kulen, Banteay Chhmar and Sambor Prei Kuk. It will be the largest aerial archaeological survey every undertaken with LiDAR, and we look to more exciting discoveries to come!

New lidar survey of Angkor. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20150404

New lidar survey of Angkor. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20150404

World’s biggest aerial laser survey to reveal Kingdom’s historical secrets
Phnom Penh Post, 04 April 2015

Following the incredible discoveries of the first ‘lidar’ project around Angkor Wat, archaeologists have big hopes for a second, much-larger survey

In 2013, Cambodia made world headlines when an expansive survey using airborne laser technology revealed not only that the city of Angkor was even more monumental than previously thought, but that another enormous ancient city, Mahendravarpata, lay beneath the jungle-covered plateau of Phnom Kulen, northeast of Siem Reap.

Now a second, even more expansive survey is about to take place using the same laser imaging detection and ranging technology, known as ‘lidar’.

Aerial lidar surveys involve firing millions of laser beams at the ground and measuring the time they take to bounce back, using tiny differences in time to calculate elevation variations.

Full story here.

Categories: Angkor Cambodia


Call for Papers: Environmental Archaeological Approaches in Southeast Asia (SAA2015)

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This is a call for papers for the Society for American Archaeology conference in April, 2015. The conference will be held in San Francisco, California (USA). Please see below for the session details:

Environmental Archaeological Approaches in Southeast Asia

Organizers: Hannah G. Van Vlack and Cyler Conrad

Abstract: The aim of this session is to report on recent environmental archaeological approaches to understanding human behavioral adaptations in Southeast Asia (mainland and island). We aim to survey the various ways that environmental conditions affected hunter-gatherer and agricultural societies throughout the late-Pleistocene and Holocene. Paper topics of this session may include research of subsistence regimes, technological change and/or development, forager efficiency, paleoecology, transition into agriculture, and any relevant research involving these themes. We welcome novel research, papers involving meta-analysis, or historical reviews.

Discussant: Rasmi Shoocongdej, Associate Professor of Archaeology, Silpakorn University

For anyone interested in participating in this session, please send your name, contact email and preliminary paper title to Hannah ( or Cyler at ( Please let us know no later than September 1st, and do not hesitate to write us with any questions you may have! Details about the conference can be found here. Feel free to share this information.