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Invitation: The Palawan Island Road Transect Project

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The Wilhelm Solheim II Foundation for Philippine Archaeology is seeking crew members and funds (approximately USD$7,000) for the Palawan Island Road Transect Project 2011. I’ve included excerpts from the project description document in this post, and the full document can be downloaded at the end, along with the itinerary. Those interested to serve as field crew or to help fund the project should contact Mr Danny Galang at db.galang [at]

photo credit: badchick804

The Palawan Island Road Transect 2011
Project Description
Itinerary (9-22 April 2011)
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[Job]: Collections Assistant (Asian Anthropology)


Application deadline is 10 June 2018. Details and link below.

Collections Assistant (Asian Anthropology) (Fixed Term) in the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge.
The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA) is one of the nine University of Cambridge Museums and Botanic Garden (UCM). It is a sub-Department of the University Department of Social Anthropology and is a key resource for University teaching and research, particularly in collaboration with the Departments of Social Anthropology and Archaeology. Its world-class collections attract visiting researchers from all over the world and it maintains an active programme of temporary exhibitions and loans to major exhibitions within the UK and internationally. MAA’s collections are Designated for their national and international importance. For further information about the Museum’s staff, collections, and programmes, see

The Museum has embarked on a partnership with the Cambridge Rivers Project, aimed at researching and making accessible the extensive collections of artefacts from Asia for which it cares. Approximately 80,000 artefacts, 50,000 photographs and a rich documentary archive chart Cambridge’s role in archaeological and anthropological research across the continent, from the 1880s and through the twentieth century. The stories they contain are of importance to communities, scholars and publics worldwide as well as in Britain, illuminating the diversity of human experience and creativity, as well as complex shared histories of cross-cultural encounter that MAA is committed to telling. For more information on the Cambridge Rivers Project and its activities, see

To support this project, MAA is seeking to appoint a full-time Collections Assistant (Asian Anthropology) for one year to work with Senior Curator for Anthropology Dr Mark Elliott, Collections Manager for Anthropology Rachel Hand, and researchers from the Cambridge Rivers Project to document, photograph and research collections from East, Southeast and South Asia, predominantly in the anthropology collections. The role will involve facilitating research access and supporting the work of the Cambridge Rivers Project, maintaining appropriate standards of documentation and collections care, and carrying out research to improve knowledge of the collections.

The successful candidate will have an understanding of and interest in museum collections with a background in Asian anthropology, archaeology or a related discipline, and demonstrated experience of object research. Knowledge of a relevant language is desirable. S/he will have very good IT skills including spreadsheets and basic word processing and experience with collections management systems. Excellent attention to detail and very good written and verbal communication skills are essential as well as excellent organisational skills and the ability to work independently and as part of a team.


Appeal: Preserving Evidence of the Khmer Rouge Genocide

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The Krang Ta Chan project team

A appeal to help with the archaeology of the recent past: a team of forensic anthropologists needs funds to analyse the skeletal remains held at the Choeung Ek Genocidal Center, more commonly known as the Killing Fields, and to upgrade the storage facilities. This fundraising appeal covers an important gap that is left out from other grants: the salaries of the Cambodian researchers who will be working on the recovery, stabilisation and documentation of the bones. Please lend your support to this very worthy cause!

The Krang Ta Chan project team

The Krang Ta Chan project team

Preserving Evidence of the Khmer Rouge Genocide

Krang Ta Chan (ក្រាំង​តា​ចាន់) is one of nearly 20,000 mass gravesites throughout Cambodia resulting from the Khmer Rouge violence in the late 1970s.​​ Krang Ta Chan was a Khmer Rouge detention center and execution site, and when the graves were excavated, over 10,000 victims were discovered. The site has been turned into a memorial where the bones of the victims have been collected. However, the rain, humidity, and extreme heat are causing rapid deterioration of the bones.

Additionally, the evidentiary importance of these remains have not been realized. The bones have not been scientifically analyzed, which would provide important information about the traumatic injuries sustained by victims and contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the Khmer Rouge era. The Krang Ta Chan Project Team, led by Mr. Vuthy Voeun, a Director within the Cambodian Ministry’s of Culture and Fine Arts, plans to analyze these remains and preserve them for future generations as evidence of the violence that transpired in Cambodia.

Lend your support here.

New book on the archaeology of Ilocos Sur

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Source: Rappler 20150705

A new book published in the Philippines discusses the prehispanic history of Ilocos Sur, a region on the western part of Luzon island of the Philippines.

Source: Rappler 20150705

Source: Rappler 20150705

Unearthing the golden days of Ilocos Sur
Rappler, 05 July 2015

The Ilocos Sur Archaeology Project or ISAP was deemed to be the first concrete step employing systematic regional archaeology towards understanding the pre-Spanish contact Ilocos settlements. The sustained archaeological surveys and excavations of 2011 and 2012 were undertaken with the objective of trying to understand the role of this Northwesterly flank of Luzon Island in an intricate overseas maritime trade network. A basic research objective was the documentation of archaeological sites in the province of Ilocos Sur. So far, the municipalities of Santa, Caoayan, San Juan, Cabugao, Sinait, Quirino, Alilem, Sugpon and the City of Vigan have been visited as part of the project. The Ilocos Sur Archaeology Project or ISAP was supported by the Provincial Government of Ilocos Sur (PGIS) in partnership with the University of the Philippines Archaeological Studies Program (UP-ASP) and the National Museum (NM).

The book “Mountains and Sea: case studies in coastal, riverine, and upland archaeology of Ilocos Sur” published by UST Publishing House (2015) presents the analysis of archaeological data unearthed through the Ilocos Sur Archaeology Project. The book suggests a “golden” (literally) role of Ilocos and the whole flank of Northwestern Luzon in the Indian Ocean World trading system writ- large. It is important to state that the Philippine archipelago is part of the fabled Subvarnadhipa or Islands of God which includes parts of present-day Philippines and Indonesian archipelagos. Bulked gold from lode mines in the Cordilleras and panning sites along the Abra river drainage basin was brought to Ilocos to be shipped overseas.

Full story here.

Categories: Books Philippines


Exhibition showcases the 300 forts of Indonesia

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An exhibition at the Gallery in Jakarta showcases the results of an ongoing project do document Indonesia’s old forts, many of them built during the colonial period. 107 forts were recorded in Eastern Indonesia, and an additional 180 in the islands of Java and Sumatra.

Exhibit Maps Historic Forts
Jakarta Globe, 17 April 2009
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Two weeks documenting the rock art in Ipoh


Well, more closer to 12 days. My first two weeks of January was spent documenting the rock art of Gua Tambun, in a limestone mountain just outside the city of Ipoh, the capital of Perak in Peninsular Malaysia. This documentation and research project is the main focus of my MA thesis at Universiti Sains Malaysia.

The field crew: Nick, Suresh, Velat, Dr Stephen, me

The field crew: Nick, Suresh, Velat, Dr Stephen, me

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The mystery of Chu Dau ceramics

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30 September 2007 (Viet Nam News [Link no longer active]) – I’m back after a week of exploring Malaysia and I’ll be catching up on the posts that I missed out on during the last week. We start off this week in Vietnam with a fascinating story about Chu Dau ceramics, named after a 15th century ceramics production site and an artisan named Bui Thi Hy – and an alternative theory that Bui was a woman.

Viet Nam News, 30 Sep 2007

Mystery woman of the Chu Dau ceramics [Link no longer active]
A sunken ship discovered off the coast of Hoi An in 2000 set off a wave of interest in the rare ceramics within. Nguyen My Ha and Ta Quynh Hoa unravel the mystery of the 15th century artisian who created some of the worksAt 62 years of age, Bui Xuan Nhan buried himself in newspapers and magazines, sifting through piles of archived materials to research the Gia Loc District Communist Party for a competition. But during his search, he stumbled across an article that would take him far from his initial pursuit and towards astonishing findings about trade and the place of women in Vietnamese history.

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