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[Lecture] Classical Javanese Figurative Sculpture: Examining ornament and style

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For readers in Singapore, an upcoming lecture in ISEAS

Classical Javanese Figurative Sculpture: Examining ornament and style
Date: Tuesday, 30 January 2018
Time: 3.00 pm – 4.30 pm
Venue: ISEAS Seminar Room 2

About the Lecture
This lecture examines a corpus of free standing Hindu Buddhist figurative sculpture produced in Java in the 9th to 14th century period whose elaborate dress displays textiles with detailed patterns. This surviving body of sculpture, carved in stone in bas relief and cast in metal, varying in both size and condition, now stands in archaeological sites across Java, museums in Indonesia, and beyond. Situated a few degrees south of the equator, the humid climate of Java has ensured that textiles from this period have not survived in situ.

In considering supporting evidence from other regions of Asia, this lecture explores the origins of the medieval textiles depicted on these sculptures, and identifies the types of textiles being represented. It also provides some analysis of specific motifs, such as those on Saiva Buddha sculptures representing tantric iconography.

Additionally this lecture re-examines, through this corpus of sacred sculpture, the impact of the ‘Pāla Style’ from northeast India on the sculpture of Classical Java.

About the Speaker
Dr Lesley S Pullen, is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in art history at SOAS University of London. She was born in Medan, Sumatra and lived in Asia for thirty years. Dr Pullen arrived in London in 1997 and completed at SOAS a Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art, a Taught Masters and in 2017 a PhD. She is currently converting her doctoral thesis “Representation of Textiles on Classical Javanese Sculpture” into a monograph. Her work includes research into the textiles and ornament of India, Central Asia and China, and how these are reflected in Southeast Asian material art. She tutors and lectures on Southeast Asia art history courses at SOAS and the V&A Museum.

Uncovering the Javanese Ramayana

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The epic Ramayana, while originally from India, has had a far-reaching influence into the cultures of Southeast Asia where it is retold through reliefs on temples as well as traditional arts like shadow-puppetry and dance. Of course, the story gradually becomes adapted to the local culture, and it seems that the Javanese version of Ramayana contains some significant differences from the original. These differences are only now coming to light as some of the more ancient Javanese texts become translated.

Hanuman sculpture
photo credit: kevingessner

Understanding the tall tale of ‘Ramayana’

Jakarta Post, 16 August 2009
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Public Lecture: 'Bian-hong: Mastermind of Borobudur?'

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The Asian Civilisations Museum hosts a public lecture by Hiram Woodward about Borobudur and the hypothesis of a Javanese Monk who was behind the construction.
Borobudur
photo credit: F H Mira

Bian-hong: Mastermind of Borobudur?
Date: 2 Sep 2009
Time: 7:00 – 8:45pm
Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore
Limited seating. Register by emailing nhb_acm_rpu@nhb.gov.sg
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Public lecture: The Mỹ Sơn and Pô Nagar Nha Trang Sanctuaries

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From the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore:

The Mỹ Sơn and Pô Nagar Nha Trang Sanctuaries: On the Cosmological Dualist Cult of the Champa Kingdom in Central Vietnam as Seen from Art and Anthropology by Dr Tran Ky-Phuong

Date: 23/04/2008
Time: 15:00 – 16:30
Venue: Asia Research Institute, 469A Tower Block, Level 10, Bukit Timah Road, National University of Singapore @ BTC
Organisers: Dr TRAN Thi Que Ha

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The Ramayana thru' Southeast Asia

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06 October 2007 (Newindpress) – If there’s such a thing as universal appeal in Southeast Asia, it’s gotta be the Hindu epic, the Ramayana. Drs M. and S. Krishnasamy write about how the influence of epic of Rama manifests itself in the countries of Southeast Asia.

Newindpress, 06 Oct 2007

A Sea view of Rama
Dr S Krishnaswamy and Dr Mohana Krishnaswamy

We are at the tail end of a fascinating journey through history, in a time machine that took us back 2500 years, and often brought us back and forth to the 21st Century. We made several trips in 2006 — first, for research and then for filming a television documentary serial titled Indian Imprints to be telecast on Doordarshan’s national network. It deals with the impact of ancient Indian culture on Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. This “episode” is devoted to Rama as perceived in SEA (‘South East Asia’, not the Sea at Palk Straight, which is making waves).

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Resources

Here are links to archaeology and research resources for Southeast Asia, categorised by theme and country. If you have a link to suggest, please get in touch! You may also be interested in our crowdsourced list of influential books about Southeast Asian Archaeology.

Southeast Asian Interest [top]

  • Ceramics in Mainland Southeast Asia – Collections of the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthuer M. Sackler Gallery
  • EFEO – Ecole Francaise d’Extreme-Orient or the French School of Asian Studies has historically done a lot of research in Indochina because of its colonial links. Website is in French.
  • H-SEASIA Discussion Network – H-SEASIA is a forum for discussion and communications regarding the history and study of Southeast Asia.
  • HOPSea – The Human Origins Patrimony in Southeast Asia, a multinational collaboration between European and Southeast Asian partners.
  • Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association – Founded in 1929, the IPPA is dedicated to the study of prehistory of Eastern Asia (70 deg longitude) and the pacific region.
  • It Surfaced Down Under! – A blog by Damien Huffer discussing the looted antiquities trade in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Maitreya – Maitreya is the student association for the archaeology of Asia, based in Leiden University in the Netherlands.
  • NAUSICAà– French National Sea Experience Center, in Boulogne-sur-Mer (Northern France), is a Science Center entirely dedicated to the relationship between Mankind and the Sea. Its goal is to incite the general public to discover the sea and to love it, while raising its awareness on the need for a better management of marine resources. (This link goes to NAUSICAÄ’s English site)
  • Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre Archaeology Unit Youtube Channel – A collection of Youtube videos curated by the Archaeology Unit dealing with the archaeology of Southeast Asia. The Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre is located in the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore.
  • Sahul Time – An interactive map showing the sea levels and land mass size of Sahul (Australia and Papua New Guinea) and island Southeast Asia.
  • SEAMEO-SPAFA – The Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts, under the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation.
  • South and Southeast Asian Art and Archaeology Index (ABIA) – The ABIA Project is a global network of scholars co-operating on an annotated bibliographic database for publishers covering South and Southeast Asian art and archaeology.
  • Southeast Asia and Pacific Bioarcharchaeology – a newsletter run by Kate Domett at James Cook University.
  • Southeast Asian Archaeology Lab – Headed by Stephen Acabado at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA
  • Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-Lu – The Ming Shi-Lu is an open access resource to the annals of Ming China (1368 – 1644), in which place names and polities in Southeast Asia is featured greatly.
  • Southeast Asian Ceramics Society – Formed in 1969, the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society’s purpose is to widen appreciation and acquire knowledge of the ceramic art of China and countries adjacent to China, especially those of Southeast Asia. To pursue this aim, local members meet for periodic discussion, to hear talks by experts and to study and compare pots.
  • Southeast Asian Images & Text – A collection of teaching and research resources put together by the people at the University of Wisconsin. Contains a section of images of Angkor Wat.
  • Southeast Asian Archaeology Scholarly Website – funded by the Henry Luce foundation and hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Museum, this website offers a web-based bibliography and a skeletal database.
  • The Southeast Asian Treasure Connection – A website about shipwrecks, underwater treasure hunting and archaeology.
  • UNESCO Bangkok – Website of the Unesco office in Bangkok, which oversees Asia and the Pacific.
  • UNESCO World Heritage List Alphabetical list of the World Heritage Sites on the UNESCO register (812 and counting!)

Archaeology, Anthropology and History blogs and sites [top]

  • Anthropology.net Anthropology.net’s mission is to expand understanding and appreciation of humanity by way of creating a cohesive online community of individuals interested in anthropology. The website intends to lead the anthropological community by primarily promoting and facilitating discussion, reviewing research, stewardship of resources, public and professional education, and the dissemination of knowledge.
  • Archaeological Ethics Database – This database is an ongoing project by the Register of Professional Archaeologists (the Register) and the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA). The goal of the database is to bring together sources on archaeological ethics in a single place for the use of students, researchers, and professional archaeologists.
  • Archaeology – about.com – A great starting point site for archaeology in general, with tons of information on digs, jobs, sites and issues.
  • World Archaeological Congress – The World Archaeological Congress is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization and is the only archaeological organisation with elected global representation. Its programs are run by members who give their time in a voluntary capacity. Membership is open to archaeologists, heritage managers, students and members of the public. WAC seeks to promote interest in the past in all countries, to encourage the development of regionally-based histories and to foster international academic interaction. It is committed to the scientific investigation of the past, ethical archaeological practice and the protection of cultural heritage worldwide. It supports the empirical investigation and appreciation of the political contexts within which research is conducted and interpreted, and promotes dialogue and debate among advocates of different views of the past. WAC is committed to diversity and to redressing global inequities in archaeology through conferences, publications and scholarly programs. It has a special interest in protecting the cultural heritage of Indigenous peoples, minorities and economically disadvantaged countries, and encourages the participation of Indigenous peoples, researchers from economically disadvantaged countries and members of the public.

Journals [top]

  • Asian Archaeology – Publishes articles on all aspects of Asian Archaeology
  • Asian Culture and History – Published by the Canadian Center of Science and Education, Asian Culture and History covers topics such as culture, history, arts, anthropology, archaeology, religion, and linguistics.
  • Asian PerspectivesAsian Perspectives is a peer-reviewed journal focusing on the archaeology of Asia and the Pacific region. Articles from 1955-2008 are available online for download.
  • Antiquity – Covering world archaeology, but of recent years has featured many Southeast Asian papers.
  • Bulletin de l’ecole Francaise d’Extreme-Orient – One of the oldest Asian studies journals, BEFEO publishes in French and English. Archives available from 1901-2003.
  • Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory AssociationAnother international peer-reviewed journal for archaeology in Southeast Asia, East Asia and the Pacific. Journal is open access.
  • Damrong – The archaeology journal of Silpakorn University.
  • Hukay – The journal of the University of the Philippines’ Archaeological Studies Programme.
  • Indonesia (Journal) – From the website: “Indonesia Journal”, is a semi-annual journal devoted to the timely study of Indonesia’s culture, history, government, economy, and society. It features original scholarly articles, interviews, translations, and book reviews. Published since April 1966, the journal provides area scholars and interested readers with contemporary analysis of Indonesia and an extensive archive of research pertaining to the nation and region. The journal is published by Cornell University’s Southeast Asia Program.” Articles dated before 2000 are available free for download.
  • Journal of Burma Studies – Open access, and one of the few peer-reviewed journals focusing on Myanmar.
  • Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society – Originally Journal of the Straits Branch, and then Malayan Branch and now the Straits Branch, the journal first published in 1878 and contains many scholarly articles on the culture, history and archaeology of Malaysia and its peoples.
  • Journal of the Siam Society – Established in 1904, the Journal of the Siam Society publishes original scholarly articles in English pertaining to Thailand. Articles are Open Access from 1904 – 2011.
  • Muang Boran Journal – A journal dealing with Thai Archaeology.
  • Pratu – the Journal of Buddhist and Hindu Art, Architecture and Archaeology of Ancient to Premodern Southeast Asia is an initiative of a group of research students in the Department of History of Art and Archaeology at SOAS University of London in collaboration with departmental mentors. The journal is funded by the Alphawood Foundation, under the auspices of the Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme (SAAAP).
  • Repositori Institusi Kemendikbud RI – The Institutional Repository of the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture. The link directs to a search of all archaeological material in the repository.
  • Southeast Asian Archaeology Repository of Knowledge – A repository maintained by the Nalanda-Sriwajaya Centre hosting published and unpublished reports on Southeast Asian archaeology.
  • SPAFA Journal – The journal of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre of Archaeology and Fine Arts (SPAFA). Page links to four micro-sites, the current SPAFA Journal, the old SPAFA Journal (1991-2013), the SPAFA Digest (1980-1990) and various SPAFA Publications. [Disclosure: I serve as the Managing Editor for the SPAFA Journal in as part of my duties at SEAMEO SPAFA]
  • Wacana – the Journal of the Humanities of Indonesia is a scholarly journal of the Faculty of Humanities, Universitas Indonesia, and is a medium for scholarly discussion, description, and surveys concerning literature, linguistics, archaeology, history, philosophy, library and information studies, religion, art, and interdisciplinary studies. The journal is published twice a year.

Research Resources [top]

  • Acronyms used by Asian/Pacific Scholars: a DictionaryMaintained by Ciolek and Noyce at the Research School of Asian and Pacific Studies at the Australian National University in Canberra, this is a comprehensive A-Z web resource for scholars in the Asian and Pacific region. Note that the abbreviation for this website is SEAArch.
  • Asian Studies Toolbar A great web tool for researchers focusing in asia, the Asian Studies toolbar is an add-on to your Firefox and Internet Explorer browser with built in links to numerous Asian resources – weather forecasts, newspapers, and yes, this website as well.
  • The Corpus of the Inscriptions of Campā – The Corpus of the Inscriptions of Campā is a publication of the École française d’Extrême-Orient, realized in collaboration with the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University. This project aims to recover, preserve, study and make accessible the corpus of inscriptions of ancient Campā (in present Việt Nam), written either in Sanskrit or in Old Cam.
  • EFEO Image archives – Archival images collected by the École française d’Extrême-Orient, available online.
  • H-SEASIA Discussion NetworkH-SEASIA is a forum for discussion and communications regarding the history and study of Southeast.
  • International Council of Museums
  • Interpol Database of Stolen art
  • Khmer Inscriptions Program – Online database of K-inscriptions. In French.
  • ResearchSEA – ResearchSEA is Asia’s first research news portal, a one-stop centre where journalists and members of the public can gain access to news and local experts from the research world in Asia.
  • Southeast Asia in the Ming Shi-Lu – The Ming Shi-Lu is an open access resource to the annals of Ming China (1368 – 1644), in which place names and polities in Southeast Asia is featured greatly.
  • Southeast Asian Archaeology Scholarly Website funded by the Henry Luce foundation and hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Museum, this website offers a web-based bibliography and a skeletal database.
  • UNESCO Database of National Cultural Heritage Laws
  • World Monuments Fund – runs a number of projects in Southeast Asia.

Museums [top]

  • Ancient Sculpture of Vietnam – 3D Virtual Museum – A virtual museum set up by Quang Tri Nguyen, which gives you an interactive close up on Vietnamese sculptures.
  • Angkor National Museum – Opened in 2007, the Angkor National Museum is located in Siem Reap and promises to show visitors the splendours of the ancient Angkor civilisation.
  • Asian Civilisations Museum – The museum’s collection features archaeological artefacts from Southeast Asia, China and India.
  • Bangkok National MuseumOfficial website of the Bangkok National Museum, which houses an archaeological and art history collection.
  • Da Nang Museum of Cham SculptureA museum dedicated to the sculpture of the ancient Cham, centred in South Vietnam. Website is in Vietnamese and English.
  • Jabatan Muzium Malaysia (Department of Museums, Malaysia) – The official government website for the Department of Museums, Malaysia.
  • Museum Nasional IndonesiaThe Indonesian National Museum.
  • Museum Pusaka NiasOr the Museum of Nias Heritage in Nias Island, Sumatra. The blogsite is mainly in Bahasa Indonesia.
  • Ni Xue Tang – A private museum in Singapore dedicated to Buddhist art.
  • Sculpture of Angkor and Ancient CambodiaVirtual tour of exhibition of the same name that was in the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. in 1997.
  • National Museum of Singapore – Collection showcases the history of Singapore from the 14th century to modern times.
  • Sarawak Museum – Borneo’s oldest museum has collections featuring archaeology and ethnology.
  • Southeast Asian Ceramics MuseumThe museum is located in the Bangkok University. Website in Thai, but there are links to the English-language newsletter which is regularly published.
  • Vietnam National Museum of History – in Hanoi
  • Virtual Collection of Masterpieces – Run by ASEMUS, a network of Asian and European museums, featuring some of the best offerings from the network’s collections.
  • Yale University Indo-Pacific Gallery – The Gallery’s Indo-Pacific art collection represents the art of maritime Southeast Asia and includes about 1,900 objects, with strengths in ethnographic sculpture, Javanese gold from the prehistoric to the late medieval period, and Indonesian textiles.

UNESCO World Heritage archaeological sites in SEA[top]

Cambodia [top]

  • Angkor Guide – An independent website by Johann Reinhart Zieger that provides background information to the many temples at Angkor, including practical information about visiting them.
  • Angkor Wat Minecraft ProjectA project to recreate Angkor Wat in the game Minecraft.
  • Angkor Research Program – An “international, multidisciplinary research programme interested in the decline of urbanism at Angkor”. The project is coordinated by the University of Sydney.
  • APSARA Authority – The Authority for the Protection and Managemen of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap. I think the name says it all.
  • Archaeological Projects in CambodiaA list of past and current projects in the kingdom run by Alison Carter.
  • Cambodian Archaeological Lidar Initiative – Project website of the Lidar imaging programme.
  • The Database of the Restoration Work of the Southern Library of BayonBy a collaboration between Japan and the APSARA Authority.
  • Heritage Watch – Heritage Watch aims to address the problem of the trade in antiquities in Southeast Asia, particularly in Cambodia, by education campaigns, tourism campaigns and other means.
  • ICC Angkor – The International Coordinating Committee for Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Site of Angkor
  • Lower Mekong Archaeological Project – Run by the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.
  • Kerdomnel Khmer magazineThe website of a Cambodian magazine dedicated to Khmer heritage and archaeology.
  • Origins of Angkor Archaeological Project Directed by Professor Charles Higham, the Origins of Angkor project is a “multi-disciplinary research project being undertaken by the University of Otago Department of Anthropology and the Fine Arts Department of Thailand. The aim of the project is to assess the seminal aspects of the social, cultural and technological development in the Mun River valley of Northeast Thailand”.
  • P’teah Cambodia – A archaeology project directed by Drs Miriam Stark and Alison Carter investigating the archaeology of households and non-elites in Cambodia
  • Virtual Sambor Prei KukA digital reconstruction of a 7th century temple from the University of California, Berkley

East Timor (Timor Leste) [top]

Indonesia [top]

  • Borobudur on Project Jigsawby the Australian National University.
  • Banda Islands Archaeology Website – An archaeology project in the Banda Islands in East Indonedia led by the University of Washington and Gadjah Mada University to uncover the archaeology of this region.
  • Banda Islands Field School Blog – A blog run by the students and instructors attending an 8-week field school at the Banda Islands in early 2009.
  • EFEO Jakarta blog (French/Bahasa Indonesia) – Blog run by the Jakarta branch of the Ecole Francaise d’Extreme-Orient.
  • Tanah Datar Archaeological Project – An excavation blog for the Tanah Datar Archaeological Project, running from 1 March – 8 April 2012, by Universitas Indonesia and the Frei Universität Berlin.

Laos [top]

Malaysia [top]

  • Caves of Malaysiarun by speleologist Liz Price, a good source of geological, botanical, zoological and archaeological information to caves in Malaysia.
  • Heritage Trust of MalaysiaBadan Warisan, or the Heritage Trust of Malaysia, is an NGO dedicated to conserving and educating about Malaysia’s built heritage.
  • History of the Malay PeninsulaAn informative overview about the ancient history of the Malay Peninsula, by writer Sabri Zain, starting from the 1st century AD. Brief introductions to the Buddhist and Hindu periods to the start of the Melaka Sultanate.
  • Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (MBRAS)Incorporating the Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (JMBRAS), that publishes occasional papers on Malaysian archaeology.
  • Malaysian TimelineA timeline describing the preiods of Malaysian history from prehistory to modern times.
  • Maritime Asia Website of the Maritime Archaeology Exhibition at the Muzium Negara, featuring 7 shipwrecks found in Malaysia’s waters.
  • Nanhai Marine Archaeology Sdn. Bhd.A Malaysia-based company the specialises in historical shipwrecks and the history and development of Chinese and Southeast Asian ceramics.
  • The Niah Cave Project – An archaeological project by the University of Leicester.
  • Perak Man and the Lenggong Archaeological Museum by Liz Price, spelaelogical consultant. Posted in 2004 at wildasia.net.
  • The Cultured Rainforest Project – is headed by the University of Cambridge to investigate the people of the Kelabit Highlands and their interactions with the forest in the present and past.

Myanmar (Burma) [top]

Philippines [top]

Singapore [top]

  • Maritime ExplorationsMaritime Explorations is a Singapore-based salvage and project coordination company specialising in historical shipwrecks.
  • Southeast Asian ArchaeologyFocuses mainly on Singapore, with links to ongoing projects in Indonesia.
  • Spatial Discovery – A collection of over 3,000 maps from the last 200 years organised by the National Libary of Singapore.
  • World of TemasekA Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) that is set in 14th century Singapore. Based on the actual archaeology of Singapore.

Thailand [top]

  • Ban Chiang Project, The – Hosted by the University of Pennsylvania, the Ban Chiang Project is a comprehensive website about Ban Chiang with the aims: “to introduce newcomers to the fascinating archaeological discoveries at Ban Chiang; and second, to keep our friends and colleagues informed on our progress”.
  • Highland Archaeology Project in Pang Mapha District, Mea Hong Son Province Phase 2a multidisciplinary archaeological project investigating the different cultures from ancient times to present in in Northwest Thailand.
  • Office of Archaeology, Thai Fine Arts Department – Just like what it says, but the site is in Thai.
  • Origins of Angkor Archaeological Project Directed by Professor Charles Higham, the Origins of Angkor project is a “multi-disciplinary research project being undertaken by the University of Otago Department of Anthropology and the Fine Arts Department of Thailand. The aim of the project is to assess the seminal aspects of the social, cultural and technological development in the Mun River valley of Northeast Thailand”.
  • Temple Site at Phimai – A computer recontruction of the Khmer temple site of Phimai.

Vietnam [top]

Gallery unveils the $4million Indonesian bronze statuette

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26 October 2006 (Sydney Morning Herald) – The National Gallery of Australia reveals its latest item in its collection, a 6th century bronze statuette of Indonesian origin. The article doesn’t describe the statuette’s provenance, but mentions that it was from the Javanese bronze age. This would put it around the time of the Srivijaya empire, although there is mention of an independent Bronze Age. Will have to go read that up.

Sydney Morning Herald, 26 Oct 2006

Gallery unveils the $4million woman

The diminutive sculpture depicts a woman nursing an infant while weaving on a foot-braced body tension loom.

Part of the myth surrounding the sculpture is the uncertainty about its age. It was believed to be too young to come from the Dong Son bronze-age culture that was centred on North Vietnam and ended in AD200, and it may have been from the Javanese Bronze Age, which peaked between the eighth and 14th centuries.

The gallery decided to have the clay core of the sculpture tested by thermo-luminescence.

The surprise result was that it was made between AD556 and 596.

Maxwell says archaeologists suggested there was an independent island bronze age in Indonesia about that time and there are several pieces in the National Gallery in Jakarta that are possibly from that period.


Related Books:
The Bronze Age of Southeast Asia (Cambridge World Archaeology) by C. Higham
The bronze-iron age of Indonesia (Verhandelingen van het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land-en Volkenkunde) by H. R. van Heekeren

Selections, August 2006

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While we’re on the subject of books, here are the new additions to the catalogue of Select Books, a specialised publisher and retailer of books pertaining to Southeast Asia. For ordering info, please visit the Select Books website.

039222
Journal Of Chinese Overseas, V.1(1) May 2005. Sg. 2005. 144pp. pb $34.15 (This is the inaugural issue of the Journal of Chinese Overseas, which is published by the Chinese Heritage Centre, Singapore. Among this issue’s articles is a study of Chinese writers overseas by Wang Gungwu, a discussion of Hong Kong as a centre for the preparation of opium for America and an exploration of family and gender roles in Overseas Chinese divided families pre-1949. The quality and range of the articles and book reviews indicate that this is likely to become a significant journal in the area of Sinological and regional studies.)

039223
Journal Of Chinese Overseas, V.1(2) Nov 2005. Ng Chin-Keong, Tan Chee-Beng (eds.) Sg. 2005. 162pp. pb $34.15 (The second November 2005 issue of the new journal includes six articles and eight full-length book reviews. Carl Trocki writes on opium and the Chinese in Southeast Asia 1750-1880 and Evelyn Hu-Dehart on opium used in Peru and Cuba. A fresh look is taken at the near-legendary Dalforce of 1942 Singapore, and ethnic identity in the Vietnam-China borderlands is explored in another study.)

039397
Uncovering Southeast Asia’s Past: Selected Papers From The 10th International Conference Of The European Association Of Southeast Asian Archaeologists. Bacus, Elisabeth A; Ian C. Glover et al (eds.). Sg. 2006. 423pp. pb $73.50 (The papers here are taken from the 10th International EurASEAA Conference held in the British Museum in September 2004. In the opening address, HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand comments on the significance of the inscriptions from the Khmer temple Prasat Phnom Rung in northeastern Thailand, while Professor Charles Higham gives an insightful survey of the prehistoric threads linking South China and the countries of modern Southeast Asia. The 36 chapters in this collection have been selected to give an overview of recent research into prehistoric and early historic archaeology in Southeast Asia. Seven broad themes – the late Pleistocene and early Holocene communities; new perspectives on the Neolithic; Bronze and Iron Age mortuary practices; Iron Age landscapes and cultures; emerging early states and trading ports; urban landscapes; and regional and long-distance exchange relations – serve to organise subsequent chapters. The writers in this book are all engaged in archaeological and historical research in the region.)

039322
Zheng He Epic, The. Tan Ta Sen & Chia Lin Sien (eds.). Cn. 2006. 361pp. hc $189.00 (This massive volume with its hundreds of photographs, illustrations and maps makes available all that is known in China about the famed Chinese admiral Zheng He (Cheng Ho, 1371-1433). He was a native of Kunming in Yunnan Province and collaborative efforts by local and national museums, universities and official bodies resulted the publication of a Chinese-language book that celebrated the 600th anniversary of Zheng He’s first voyage in 1405. This book is the 2006 English translation. There is a wealth of information and many photographs of the ships in his fleets, the places recorded as being visited, and many objects, memorial stones and other artefacts associated with the Admiral. These include modern photographs of his descendants (18th generation) now in Yuxi, Thailand, Nanjing and else where (Zheng He’s descendants are from his nephew whom he adopted as a son). The voyages to Africa, Southeast Asia and beyond are seen as promoting trade and peaceful relations with the Ming Emperor. Western perceptions of the period are noted. It is impossible for us to be anything but awed by this remarkable achievement.)

038118
And The Sun Pursued The Moon: Symbolic Knowledge And Traditional Authority Among The Makassar. Gibson, Thomas. Us. 2005. 262pp. hc $104.00 (This is an anthropologist’s exploration of the relationship between symbolic knowledge and royal authority traditions in the Makassar kingdom, which was one of the significant raiding-and-trading maritime kingdoms of the Java Sea from c. 600-1600 CE. Contemporary anthropological theory is applied in the discussion of myths, sages and symbolic and ideological features, and life patterns – including long distance sailing, rice cultivation and trading in forest produce – of the often-turbulent Makassar kingdom. There is discussion of the use of royal rituals and regalia in power play; rebellions against the Dutch East India Company, and 20th-century Dutch colonial rule; the role of Islam; persisting symbolic rituals; and of the complexity of competing models in the present day and recent past. With bibliography and index.)

039423
Naga Cities Of The Mekong: A Guide To The Temples, Legends And History Of Laos. Stuart-Fox, Martin. Sg. 2006. 124pp. pb $36.75 (This is the first book that provides a popular guide to the fascinating story of Laos. Drawing on his extensive research, the acclaimed historian of Laos, Professor Emeritus Martin Stuart-Fox, has written an authoritative text that weaves together centuries of history and legend. His account tells of cities built, destroyed and ressurrected. This account focuses on the three Lao capitals situated along the mighty Mekong River – Luang Phrabang in the north, Viang Chan (Vientiane) in the centre and Champasak in the south. Stuart-Fox traces the fortunes of each capital from the legend-rich founding, their years under French colonialism, through the people’s struggle for independence, war and revolution, on to the creation of contemporary Lao state. He also includes vivid descriptions of magnificent temples and tells of the unwavering Lao belief in the ever-vigilant nagas, mythical protectors of the Lao. The text is accompanied by many large and inset colour photographs.)

039103
Historical Melaka: 600 Years Of Living History. Zari Mahmood (text). My. 2005. 64pp. pb $14.20 (The 150 colour photographs in this pictorial guide give a brilliant slant onto the historic and very diverse city of Melaka and its 600 years of history. The influences of the early Arab, Chinese, Indian, European and South American visitors can be seen through the city’s heritage buildings, religious edifices, unique cuisines and customs. Melaka is deservedly a must-see city for every tourist to Malaysia.)

037912
Seventeenth-Century Burma And The Dutch East India Company, 1634-1680 (CD-Rom Included). Dijk, Wil O.. Sg. 2006. 348pp. pb $50.40 (17th-century Burma was rich in resources – gems, teak, cotton and slaves – and under the Toungoo Dynasty the country was experiencing a period of unaccustomed tranquility. Peace and security attracted a thriving trade with the outside world, and foreign government agents, merchants and traders flocked to the country’s shores. The Dutch East India Company (VOC) had one of the most active foreign operations in Burma during this period. The Company needed a vigorous trade within Asia to finance the trade in Asian goods sent to Europe, and Burma fit into a Dutch trade network that embraced India’s Coromandel Coast, Ceylon, Java, Japan and Taiwan. In addition the company hoped to establish overland trade routes from Burma into China. The VOC’s voluminous records discuss trade, but they also contain detailed information about the people and the countryside VOC officials encountered in Burma. This book gives an account of this period and opens a window into the past of one of the most fascinating countries on earth. Includes a CD-Rom of appendices.)

038682
Ancient Luang Prabang. Heywood, Denise. Th. 2006. 213pp. pb $55.15 (Luang Prabang, a remote northern Laotian town of glittering Buddhist temples and barefoot monks, is one of the most well-preserved in Asia. This Unesco World Heritage site is home to a treasure trove of sacred art. Many serene Buddha images and Buddhist sculptures are found in 33 exquisite Buddhist temples dating from the 17th century. With the arrival of the French in the 19th century came a secular architectural tradition. In Luang Prabang, the fusion of these two disparate cultures resulted in an aesthetic of singular beauty. In this richly-illustrated book, an Asian arts specialist studies and points out the outstanding architectural style and elements of the Royal Palace and the 33 Buddhist temples in Luang Prabang. Gilded door panels, frescoes, murals, inlaid walls and ornately-decorated ceilings and roofs, all honouring Buddha, are given their due attention. Notable examples of secular architecture in the form of French colonial houses and buildings are also brought under the spotlight. Addresses are supplied. Glossary.)

038685
Crescent Moon: Islamic Art & Civilisation In Southeast Asia. Bennett, James; Othman Yatim, John Miksic et al. Au. 2006. 303pp. hc $126.00 (Published to accompany the 2005-06 major Australian exhibitions at the Art Gallery of South Australia and the National Gallery of Australia, this magnificent volume contains essays by renowned specialists to provide probably unique insights into Islamic art and civilisation in Southeast Asia. Many museums and institutions have contributed to this achievement. The chapters include general overviews, and accounts of Malay Arts; the Art of Cirebon in early Javanese Islam; Islamic manuscripts; Islamic textiles; and Islamic ceramics of several traditions in Southeast Asia. 170 artefacts are presented in colour with annotations and provenance details. With bibliography, glossary, and summaries in Malay.)

036908
Pillaging Cambodia: The Illicit Traffic In Khmer Art. Lafont, Masha. Us. 2004. 197pp. pb $74.00 (The ongoing illicit trade in Khmer art objects is denuding both Cambodia’s spiritual life and the rich heritage of its famed temples. This account of what is happening highlights the scale of the thefts and the international networks, modern technologies, and sustained demand which underpin them. Remedial efforts are seen as beyond the lone efforts of the already hard-pressed Cambodian government. Measures to promote international action and local public awareness are discussed and also the potentially enhanced roles of UNESCO and other NGOs, many of which are already present in the country. Details of some of the (very few) successful actions by UNESCO to restore stolen artefacts are given. With black-and-white photographs, bibliography and index.)

038201
Vietnamese Ceramics. Tran Khanh Chuong. Vt. 2005. 99pp. pb $43.50 (There is archaeological evidence that ceramics have been made in Vietnam for ten thousand years. This monograph describes the different categories and the location of their manufacture. With examples presented in colour.)

037966
Warriors Of The Himalayas: Rediscovering The Arms And Armor Of Tibet. Larocca, Donald J. Us. 2006. 307pp. hc $141.75 (This is the first in-depth study of the virtually unknown subject of traditional armour and weapons from Tibet. It is published to complement the major 2006 exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Scholarly illustrated essays are on: the Rediscovery of Tibetan Weaponry; the history of ironworking in Tibet; arms and weapons in the iconography of Tibetan deities; and on special areas in the Temple of Guardian Deities. Tibetan helmets, weapons, armour and cavalry equipment in iron, leather, gold and silver have been assembled from collections worldwide. Some 140 examples are presented with descriptive and provenance notes and colour plates and manuscripts given in Tibetan and English. With map, Tibetan-English glossary, carbon dating lists, bibliography and index.)

035537
Three Old Sudanese Poems. Noorduyn, J.; A Teeuw (ed. & trans.). Nl. 2006. 495pp. pb $91.25 (Preserved on undated palm-leaf manuscripts, Old Sundanese texts are generally in poor condition and unavailable to a wider audience. There are limited texts in any form of Sundanese, and only limited knowledge of Old Sundanese. In presenting three long Old Sundanese poems, Noorduyn and Teeuw, in a heretofore unequalled English-language study of Old Sundanese literature, bring to the light works of importance for further linguistic, literary and historical research. The three poems, The Sons of Rama and Rawana, The ascension of Sri Ajnyana and The story of Bujangga Manik; A pilgrim’s progress were undiscovered before this book. The first two were found in a nineteenth-century manuscript collection of the former Batavian Society and are now in the National Library of Indonesia in Jakarta, while the third was donated to the Bodleian Library in Oxford as early as 1627, though it was not identified as an Old Sundanese poem until the 1950s. )