‘Secrets of the Ancient Malay Manuscripts’ features some of the most significant Malay manuscripts in the world.
Legacy of the Malay manuscripts
New Straits Times, 04 May 2014
‘Secrets of the Ancient Malay Manuscripts’ features some of the most significant Malay manuscripts in the world.
Legacy of the Malay manuscripts
New Straits Times, 04 May 2014
A workshop was held recently to help participants read old Malay manuscripts.
Better understanding old Malay manuscripts
Borneo Bulletin, 30 May 2010
A rather disturbing report of Malaysian scholars allegedly buying up ancient manuscripts from private owners in the Indonesian Riau Islands (south of Singapore) in a bid “to find proof of their Malay identity”. The idea of Malay identity and ethnicity is a touchy issue in Malaysia, due to affirmative action policies that accord privileges to the Malays over the other ethnicities that share the country. However, this article should be seen in the light of relations between Indonesia and Malaysia, which are not at an all-time high at the moment. A few years ago, Indonesia accused Malaysia of using a traditional Indonesian song to promote Malaysian tourism. The most recent chilling of relations involves Indonesia freeze of domestic helpers working in Malaysia because of recent cases of abuse that has come to light. The reason I’m featuring this story is because, hey, it’s about ancient manuscripts (although most aren’t more than 200 years old so it can’t be that ancient) and it highlights a recurring theme in Indonesia that the government doesn’t have the will or the resources to take care of its own heritage, but are looking to blame Malaysia for buying up what little they have.
M`sians take ancient Malay manuscripts from Riau islands
Antara, 03 June 2009
Cham inscriptions and Cham manuscripts: A legacy of developmentSpeaker: Mohamed Effendy bin Abdul Hamid
Date/Time: Sat 14 Apr 07, 2.30 – 4.30pm
Venue: National Library (Singapore), 100 Victoria Street, Possibility Room, Level 5The Vo Canh Stele is one of the earliest Sanskrit inscriptions found in Southeast Asia, in the vicinity of the kingdom of Champa, Vietnam. The inscription, dated to be from the fourth century, records the donation made by a King belonging to the family of Sri Mara. The significance of this inscription was that it was one of the earliest examples of the Pallava script being used in Southeast Asia by a Malay-like polity, Kerajaan Champa.
This seminar will highlight the localization of Sanskrit by the Cham people by contrasting it to other Cham inscriptions and the writing found in the Cham manuscripts. This will highlight that although the Cham language and writing show significant borrowings from other cultures, it actually enhanced the development of the Cham language.
Admission is FREE and no registration is required.
About the Speaker:
Mohamed Effendy bin Abdul Hamid is a postgraduate student in the National University of Singapore, Southeast Asia Studies Programme. His interest in Champaâ€™s history began in the year 2000 and has been awarded a research grant in 2005 by National University of Singaporeâ€™s Graduate research programme to conduct fieldwork research in Cham communities in Vietnam and Cambodia. Mohamed Effendy has also participated and attended in several international conferences and symposiums such as â€œNew scholarship on Champaâ€, 5-6 August 2004. He co-presented a paper with Research Associate Mr Pritam Singh on â€œThe Muslims of Indochina: Islam, Ethnicity and Religious Educationâ€ and a paper â€œCham Manuscripts and the Possibility of a Second Champa Kingdomâ€ at the 19th International Association of Historians of Asia (IAHA) 2006 in the Philippines.
– The Art of Champa by J. Hubert
I’ve previously mentioned the plight of the ancient manuscripts kept at the Radya Pustaka Museum in Solo and how they have been literally rotting away in cupboards here. It seems that a workshop has been conducted recently to teach museum and heritage professionals how to prepare and scan/photograph these manuscripts into a digital format as a means of preservation. The work sounds pretty similar to what I’m doing with documenting rock art. Digitising data has the potential to be stored indefinitely, but maintaining digitising collections is a constant process and requires a long-term outlook to keep up with the level of technological change. I’m personally keeping four backups of my data on recordable discs and portable hard drives – but these things only have a shelf life of 5 years, by which time I will probably need to change the recording media (think about how you’ve had to evolve from CD-R to DVD-R to flash drives and portable hard drives in the last five years). Just over a decade ago there was a European effort to maintain a database of rock art that was being stored in a now-defunct Kodak photo cd digital format – I’m not sure if the effort still exists, or if the data can still be drawn from the obsolete proprietary system. In contrast, these ancient manuscripts and rock art have survived relatively well for hundreds, if not thousands of years. The moral of the story: digital collections might be a great way for facilitating mass dissemination and saving space, but we haven’t actually seen any long term solutions for storage of digital collections. The only safe recourse currently for archiving digital information is to make multiple backups and to do so in regular intervals that keeps up with the pace of technology – and I suspect that the cost will eventually outstrip the benefit in the future.
photo credit: pcardoso
Digital Age Provides Hope For Ancient Manuscripts
Jakarta Globe, 26 June 2009
From the National University of Singapore Asia Research Institute:
From Indigenous to Islamic law: Jambi between the 14th and 18th Century by Dr Uli Kozok
Date: 10 Jan 2008
Time: 4 – 5.30 pm
Venue: ARI Seminar Room, 469A Tower Block, Level 10, Bukit Timah Road, National University of Singapore @ BTC
Organisers: Dr MILLER Michelle, Jointly organized with the Department of Malay Studies, NUS
The 14th century manuscript from the village of Tanjung Tanah, Kerinci (Jambi), which is still partly written in an Sanskritised idiom, was issued by the Maharaja of Dharmasraya, the former capital of the Malayu kingdom, to provide the “chiefs of the land of Kerinci” with a code of law. This manuscript, still written in an Old Sumatran script on bark paper, was a few centuries later reissued by the Sultan of Jambi, but this time on paper and in Arabic-Malay script. The two manuscripts, both in the possession of the same family in Tanjung Tanah, does not only give us interesting insights into the changes that the Malay language underwent from the 14th to the 18th century, but also into how the arrival of Islam influenced the legal system of a Sumatran Malay polity.
About the Speaker
1989 MA, 1994 PhD Austronesian Languages and Cultures, Hamburg University. 1994-2001 Senior Lecturer, University of Auckland, 2001- Associate Professor, University of Hawaii (Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures). Main interests comprise Sumatran philology, palaeography of Island Southeast Asia, distance education.
We would gratefully request that you RSVP to Ms Alyson Rozells at 65168787 or e-mail her at email@example.com.
Here are the new additions of archaeological interest 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.
Historical Dictionary Of The Peoples Of The Southeast Asian Massif. Michaud, Jean. Us. 2006. 357pp. hc $172.83 (Dwelling in the highland areas of Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma (Myanmar) and southwest China are hundreds of ethnic groups known as ‘tribes’ in popular literature. Together their population adds up to 80 million, more than any of the countries (bar China) they inhabit, yet in each they are designated and treated as “minorities.” They have been forced to dwell in the highlands while ‘non-tribe’ populations have occupied the more fertile lowlands. Coupled with the fact that they are so little known, this has put their way of life and cultural distinctions in jeopardy. This book offers a chronology, hundreds of cross-referenced dictionary entries on about 200 groups, the six countries they live in, some of their leaders, and their political, economic, social, cultural and religious aspects. The introduction discusses both the diversities and similarities of the groups’ ethnicities, languages, religious practices, and customs.)
Prehistory And Protohistory Of India: An Appraisal (Palaeolithic – Non-Harappan Chalcolithic Cultures) (Perspectives In Indian Art & Archaeology, No. 7). Jain, V.K.. In. 2006. 213pp. pb $12.84 (This introduction to Indian archaeology for university students presents a comprehensive overview of the tools, technologies, settlement and subsistence patterns, ecological background, distribution patterns, and the vocabulary needed for prehistoric and protohistoric study. Characteristics of the periods of early human development are noted. Sites of ongoing archaeological research in India are located. With glossary, bibliography and index.)
Archaeology: Indonesian Perspective. R. P. Soejono’s Festschrift. Simanjuntak, Truman; M Hisyam et al. Id. 2006. 618pp. pb $61.14 (This volume of 58 essays is published to celebrate the distinguished life and scholarship of the 80-year-old professor of prehistory and archaeology, R. P. Soejono. Part one contains tributes to his life and teaching style, including some in Bahasa Indonesia. The six sections that follow, devoted to ongoing research in Indonesia, are on: paleogeography and paleoenvironment; paleoanthropology; prehistory; classical archaeology; Islamic and colonial archaeology; and ethnography. The final section is on general issues of cultural resource management. With black-and-white photographs and graphics.)
Indonesia: Political History & Hindu & Buddhist Cultural Influences, Volumes 1 And 2. Hazra, Kanai Lal. In. 2007. 1102pp. hc $140.12 (Volume 1 is a political history of Indonesia from the Srivijaya era to the 2001 election of President Megawati Sukarnoputri. Volume 2 traces the rather different history of East Timor, followed by an exploration of the Hindu and Buddhist continuums of cultural influence. The latter takes the form of an exploration of the religious history of Indonesia, a detailed analysis of Old and Middle Javanese literature, and a discussion of Indonesian art and architecture. With bibliography and index. The author is a scholar of Pali language, literature and Buddhist studies and has written extensively on these subjects.)
Thrills & Treasures Of Historical Landmarks: Sarawak. Munan, Heidi. Sg. 2007. 64pp. hc $26.70 (These 75 or so photographs or illustrations are of archaeologically significant sites, stones, monuments and buildings in Sarawak. The informative commentaries that touch on their origins, architecture and folklore shed light onto many aspects of the country’s culture and history.)
Early Landscapes Of Myanmar. Moore, Elizabeth H.. Th. 2007. 271pp. pb $64.20 (The primary focus of this study is the archaeology of Myanmar, specifically in inland Upper and coastal Lower Myanmar. Separate chapters examine Paleolithic, Neolithic, Bronze-iron chiefdoms and the Hindu-Buddhist walled sites of the Pyu and Mon. Many of the sites have never before been described in English. The central theme is the relationship between man and the environment and the catalysts that structure landscape interaction, enabling expansion of agriculture, resource utilisation and international trade networks. Generously illustrated with site plans, site views, maps and artefacts. With bibliography and index.)
Historical Dictionary Of The Philippines (2nd Edition) (Historical Dictionaries Of Asia, Oceania, And The Middle East, No. 54). Guillermo, Artemio; May Kyi Win. Us. 2005. 583pp. hc $205.33 (This greatly expanded and updated second edition of the dictionary provides more than 400 hundred entries on important persons, places, events, and institutions, as well as salient economic, social and cultural aspects. The more than four centuries of the Philippines history, including the periods of Spanish and American dominance over the country, is neatly wrapped up in an introduction, clearly laid out in a chronology, complemented with statistical data in the appendix, and concluded with a bibliography allowing further research and study.)
Historical Dictionary Of Thailand (2nd Edition) (Historical Dictionaries Of Asia, No. 55). Smith, Harold E.; Gayla S. Nieminen, May Kyi Win. Us. 2005. 374pp. hc $156.57 (Thailand has experienced extremely rapid economic growth, and with that growth the increased social mobility and political democracy that comes with it. As the only Southeast Asian country to have avoided colonisation, it still boasts a functioning monarchy, remains close to its religious roots, and clings to its cultural heritage. This historical dictionary provides an overview of the country in the introduction, traces the long and complicated history in the chronology, and goes into much greater detail in the dictionary. It also presents important persons, places, institutions, and more in an easily accessible resource. Significant recent events are discussed including the 1997-98 Thai economic crisis and its effects, reforms of the national government, and the growth in political roles of both the businessman and members of the middle class. This second edition offers 64 new entries, as well as updates and revisions to older ones. In addition, the book updates basic information relative to population growth, urbanisation, and industrialisation of the economy. Includes sketch maps, 20 appendixes and an extensive bibliography.)
Spreading The Dhamma: Writing, Orality And Textual Transmission In Buddhist Northern Thailand. Veidlinger, Daniel M.. Us. 2006. 259pp. hc $102.92 (Drawing on a vast array of primary sources, the author Daniel Veidlinger traces the role of written Buddhist texts in the predominantly oral milieu of the kingdom of La Na in northern Thailand from the 15th to the 19th centuries. He examines how the written word was assimilated into existing Buddhist and monastic practice in the region, and the place of writing in the cultic and ritual life of the faithful. He also considers the manuscripts themselves, the people who sponsored them and the rivalry between monks who want to maintain the oral tradition of transmission and those who support the new medium of writing. Throughout, he emphasizes the influence of the changing modes of communication on social and intellectual life. With notes, bibliography and index.)
Thailand: Spirits Among Us. Guelden, Marlene. Sg. 2007. 191pp. hc $48.15 (The complex spirit world is an immensely important dimension in the lives of nearly all Thai people. This extensively illustrated volume is an explanation of the spirit world as perceived in contemporary Thailand. Among the areas explored: tattooing; belief in ghosts of different genres; Buddhism and syncretic beliefs; social other ritual practices; spirit houses and sacred objects; mediums and spirit possession; magical monks and their powers; and the nora tradition of dance-dramas. Bibliography and index.)
Dragon Sea: A Historical Mystery. Buried Treasure. An Adventure Beneath The Waves. Pope, Frank. Gb. 2007. 373pp. hc $56.20 (When Oxford University archaeologist Mensun Bound – dubbed the “Indiana Jones of the Deep” by the Discovery Channel – teamed up with a financier to salvage a sunken trove of 15th-century porcelain, it seemed a dream enterprise. The stakes were high: the Hoi An wreck lay hundreds of feet down in a typhoon-prone stretch of water off the coast of Vietnam known as the Dragon Sea. Raising its contents required saturation diving, a crew of 160, and a fleet of boats. The costs were unprecedented. But the potential rewards were equally high: Bound would revolutionize thinking about Vietnamese ceramics, and his partner would make a fortune auctioning off the pieces. Hired as the project’s manager, Frank Pope watched the tumultuous drama of the Hoi An unfold. In Dragon Sea he delivers an engrossing tale of danger, adventure, and ambition – a fascinating object lesson in what happens when scholarship and money join forces to recover lost treasure.)
Buddhist Art: Form And Meaning. Pal, Pratapaditya (ed.). In. 2007. 132pp. hc $132.00 (Interpreting symbolism and examining the transmission of ideas about iconography and motifs, the specialist essays in this book collectively cover 1000 years of Buddhist art from the 1st century BCE. Roughly divided into three groups, the essays in the first group concern themselves with Buddhist iconography, including one that offers a radical interpretation of the pipal tree, the tonsure and the ushnisha on Buddha’s head. The second group explores the transmission of iconographic ideas between India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Cambodia. Through an examination of the adornments of Himalayan wrathful deities and through Ladakhi mural paintings, the third group of essays discusses the interrelationship of Buddhist arts in India and Tibet. Included in this final group is a brief photo essay of Alchi and Western Tibet.)
Masterpieces Of The National Museum Of Cambodia: An Introduction To The Collection (Chefs-D’Å“uvre Du MusÃ©e National Du Cambodge: Introduction Aux Collections). Jessup, Helen Ibbitson (text). Us. 2006. 112pp. pb $69.29 (This illustrated catalogue in Khmer, English, French and Japanese presents 80 pieces of Khmer art from the National Museum of Phnom Penh. Religious carvings and statuary form the bulk of the masterpieces showcased in this introduction to the Museum’s collections. A chronology, brief overview of Khmer history, glossary and bibliography complete the catalogue.)
Monuments Of India & Indianized States: The Plans Of Major Notable Temples, Tombs, Palaces And Pavilions. Bunce, Fredrick W.. In. 2007. 518pp. hc $142.97 (This volume contains short notes and architectural ground plans with some elevation drawings of major and notable temples and other edifices in India and India-influenced Southeast Asian sites. All were built between the third century BCE and 1854 CE. With glossary, drawings of comparative examples, historical sketch maps, and bibliography.)
Vietnamese Style. De Hartingh, Bertrand; Anna-Craven-Smith-Milnes. Sg. 2007. 208pp. hc $72.76 (While the resplendent palaces and temples of old Vietnam recall strong Chinese influences in their architecture and the colonial buildings of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City remind us of Paris, the vernacular buildings in the villages have largely retained their Vietnamese identity in the use of wooden frameworks, mat walls and packed earth for floors. Two authorities on Vietnam art and history explore the evolution of Vietnamese architecture and design from pre-colonial to modern times. Three types of architecture found in Vietname are examined â€“ vernacular, French colonial and modern. Many examples of each type of architecture are shown in beautiful colour photographs, and there is emphasis on how some houses and buildings have been successfully converted into exquisite living spaces or adapted for other modern uses. Vietnam style today, which is born from a merging of indigenous, Chinese, and French artistic influences, can best be seen in modern Vietnamese art and architecture. The final chapters of this book showcase contemporary Vietnamese arts and crafts such as furniture, basketry, embroidery and lacquerware.)
Here are the May 2007 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. You may also want to visit the SEAArch bookstore for other books on southeast asian archaeology.
Historical Dictionary Of Ancient Southeast Asia (Historical Dictionaries Of Ancient Civilizations And Historical Eras, No. 18). Miksic, John N.. Us. 2007. 497pp. hc $229.45 (Anyone who has seen the stunning ruins at Angkor, Bagan, and Borobudur will readily understand why Southeast Asia is the host of so many United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization World Heritage Sites. As beautiful as the spiralling towers, intricate carvings, and delicate bas-reliefs adorning these monuments are, however, they just barely scratch the surface of the immense historical and cultural heritage of the region. Covering the countries of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam during the period from the first to the 15th century, the Historical Dictionary of Ancient Southeast Asia helps us comprehend the vast and complex history of the region through a chronology, a glossary, a bibliography, an introduction, appendixes, maps, photographs, diagrams, and hundreds of cross-referenced dictionary entries on the major (and many minor) sites, the more significant historical figures, the kingdoms they ruled over, the economic and social relations between them, and the artistic, cultural, and religious context.)
Legacy Of The Barang People, The: An Exploration Into The Puzzling Similarities Of The Hungarian And Malay Languages. Busztin, GyÃ¶rgy. Sg. 2006. 118pp. pb $28.75 (This groundbreaking and tentative piece of research and speculation deals with the many apparent linkages between Malay and the Hungarian/Magyar languages which were spoken some 3000 years ago in Central Asia. Some established theories of language development are overviewed. What is known of the early history and prehistory of population movements in Eurasia is summarised. With bibliography and charts.)
Sakyans Of South-East Asia, The: An Introspection Or Tracing Roots. Talukdar, S. P..In. 2006. 256pp. hc $31.00 (The Buddha, Prince Siddharta, was born a Sakya in the 5th century BCE. This genealogical line has continued into numerous ethnic groups in Southeast Asia. In this highly individual study, ideas, myths and facts related to the origins and history of the Sakyan people are set out and discussed.)
Bayon Of Angkor Thom, The (Special Order Item). Sahai, Sachchidanand. Th. 2007. 146pp. pb $60.00 (This is an in-depth analysis of the Bayon of Angkor Thom, a monument which may hold the key to the understanding of the Khmer civilisation. The Bayonâ€™s role as the geometric centre of the city of Angkor Thom and as a veritable microcosm of the Khmer world is explained in this monograph, which is based on notes that the author had been collecting from Sanskrit and Khmer epigraphic sources and French scholarly writings for over 40 years. He unveils the Bayonâ€™s layout and architectural features, examines the reconstitution of its central image from innumerable fragments, and the enigma of its colossal face-towers. He also follows various theories about the monument and questions certain scientific descriptions. With plans, references, index and numerous black-and-white and colour photographs.)
Diamond Book Of Hindu Gods And Goddesses, The: Their Hierarchy And Other Holy Things. Mathur, Suresh Narain; B. K. Chaturvedi. In. 2005. 77pp. hc $31.00 (Hindu mythology is a rich store of stories about supernatural personalities and events, written and re-written by scholars over thousands of years. It can prove incoherent and confusing to the general reader. This illustrated treatise attempts to put much of the popular available information in a nutshell and in accessible language. This book also pays attention to other aspects of Hinduism such as Hindu beliefs, sanskars, idolized saints, the cosmic cycle, mythological events, the Hindu calendar and more.)
Austronesian Diaspora And The Ethnogeneses Of People In The Indonesian Archipelago Proceedings Of The International Symposium. Simanjuntak, Truman; I. H.E. Pojoh et al (eds.). Id. 2006. 438pp. pb $47.00 (The dispersal of the Austronesian diaspora was wide, stretching from Madagascar to Easter Island, and from Taiwan and Micronesia to New Zealand, including Indonesia. Austronesia is the root of the recent culture, history, and ethnogeneses of the Indonesian peoples. For this reason, the first international symposium on this subject was held in Solo from 28 June to 1 July 2005. The proceedings are presented in this book, which contains four main sections: an introduction; the environmental background; the Austronesian origin, dispersal and ethnogeneses; and the Austronesian language today. The 28 papers and abstracts submitted by Indonesian and foreign specialists discuss new findings and insights about Austronesian studies from the perspectives of paleoclimatology, paleogeography, paleoanthropology, anthropology, genetics, archaeology, and linguistics. While a large majority of the contributions address the question of the Austronesian in Indonesia, five of them discuss the Austronesian on the islands of Southeast Asia, in Borneo, in Singapore, in Malaysia and in the Philippines. With references and illustrations.)
Tanah Tujuh: Close Encounters With The Temuan Mythos. Antares. My. 2007. 208pp. pb $24.15 (The traditional ways of life of Malaysia’s Orang Asli (aborigine) people are fast disappearing. This is a retelling of some of the tales and myths of the Temuan Orang Asli people of Ulu Selangor, one of the 18 surviving tribal groups of Peninsular Malaysia. The author’s ongoing friendship with the tribe enables him to share the fears and upheavals by which modern economic policies is destroying the Temuan’s future and way of life. With graphics, black-and-white photographs, Temuan glossary, bibliography and index.)
Dictionary Of South & Southeast Asian Art. Chaturachinda, Gwyneth; S. Krishnamurty et al. In. 2006. 240pp. pb $18.00 (2006 second edition of the 2004 dictionary of more than 1300 terms used in the art and architecture of South and Southeast Asia, and in the region’s history, religion and mythology. With line illustrations, chronology of the region, reading list and addresses of major museums.)
Icons Of Art: The Collection Of The National Museum Of Indonesia. Miksic, John; Joop AvÃ© (eds.). Id. 2007. 308pp. hc $78.75 (The origins of the National Museum of Indonesia can be traced back to 1778 and many of the thousands of artefacts in its collections have never been exhibited. Finely illustrated specialist articles indicate the magnificence of the collections. They describe: the evolution of the National Museum; the collections of three centuries; statuary and inscriptions; heirlooms; cloths; porcelain and terra cotta; theatre and masks; glorious metals; and future trends and possibilities. The volume will prove a treasure house for anyone interested in the art or history of Southeast Asia. With bibliography and the Museum’s timeline.)
Secrets Of Southeast Asian Textiles, The: Myths, Status And The Supernatural. Puranananda, Jane (ed.). Th. 2007. 215pp. pb $94.50 (Throughout Asia, textiles have played an important role in concepts of power and kingship and are also closely associated with shamanistic, Buddhist and Islamic beliefs. The 15 papers presented in this work represent the scholarship and research of leading scholars from around the world who participated in The James H. W. Thompson Foundation symposium, Status, Myth and the Supernatural – Unraveling the Secrets of Southeast Asian Textiles, which was held in Bangkok, August 2005. The papers are fully supported by colour illustrations and they discuss: the comparisons between Bhutanese and Southeast Asian textiles; Cambodian textile hangings; Indian figurative textiles in Indonesia; barkcloth skirts in Borneo; talismanic textiles in Islamic Southeast Asia; shamanistic practices among the Shan; the textiles of the Chin, the Naga and the Mon of Burma; Lao women’s dress; monks’ robes in Thailand; the use of the pha sin to wrap Siamese holy manuscripts; royal brocades in the Siamese Court; textile motifs as indicators of status and religion among the Tai of Vietnam.)
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]
Archaeology, Anthropology and History blogs and sites [top]
Research Resources [top]
UNESCO World Heritage archaeological sites in SEA[top]
East Timor (Timor Leste) [top]
Myanmar (Burma) [top]
A selection of archaeology-related books, new 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.
Chinese Potter, The: A Practical History Of Chinese Ceramics (Reprinted 2006). Medley, Margaret. Gb. 1989. 288pp. pb $55.65 (China has the longest and most highly developed ceramic tradition in the world, encompassing early Neolithic earthenwares, the finely glazed stoneware pieces of the Song period – widely regarded as among the greatest ceramics ever produced – and the years of Imperial patronage and export ware for the new markets of the West. Margaret Medley’s groundbreaking study was the first to bring a practical approach to the study of Chinese pottery. She makes full use of archaeological reports to show how differing geographical areas, materials and developing technology all shaped the evolution of Chinese ceramics. Her revolutionary insights, along with an astute critical judgement in the field of art history itself, combine to form a classic but approachable account which has profoundly influenced the way in which Chinese pottery is studied. First published in 1976, this is the fourth and latest reprint of the revised third edition that was issued in 1989.)
Message & The Monsoon, The: Islamic Art Of Southeast Asia. De Guise, Lucien (ed.) My. 2005. 237pp. hc $65.10 (It was Marco Polo who said, “It takes ships from China a whole year for the voyage to Southeast Asia, going in winter and returning in the summer. For in that sea there are but two winds that blow, the one that carries them outward and the other that brings them homeward; and the one of these winds blows all winter, and the other all the summer.” The monsoon winds were of vital importance to Southeast Asia in the age of sail. These winds brought with them more than just traders from China, India and Arabia. They also introduced Islam into the region. Southeast Asia became part of the most important mercantile network the world had ever seen until the 20th century. As a result, there is an astonishing accumulation of wealth and art to be found here, from Aceh in the west of the Malay Archipelago to Mindanao in the east. This catalogue is published in conjunction with the July 2005 exhibition of the same name at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia. It features a comprehensive selection of Islamic artefacts that embodies the Muslim contribution to Southeast Asia. More than 150 artefacts dating from the 15th to 20th century, including manuscripts, textiles, arms, woodwork, metalwork and coinage, offer an opportunity to examine the evolution of a unique culture, one that fuses Islamic principles with indigenous customs. With notes, bibliography and glossary.)
Restoration Of Borobudur, The. Unesco. Fr. 2005. 288pp. hc $115.00 (Although the construction of Java’s Borobudur temples took many centuries, parts probably date from about 800CE. Both Buddhist and Hindu traditions are incorporated in the extensive terraced buildings. In the mid-20th century following great alarm about decay at the site, a UNESCO restoration project was initiated with support from 27 nations. This volume traces the temple’s history and the course and methods of the UNESCO reconstruction and Borobudur’s 1991 recognition as a World Heritage Site. Sketches, photographs, diagrams and much technical data shed light on the immensity of the work done in one of the most important restoration efforts of the last century. With bibliography, glossary and index.)