Archaeologists find two historic cannons at Fort Cornwallis

via The Malaysian Insight, 20 Feb 2018

EXCAVATION works at the historic Fort Cornwallis in George Town, Penang, has unearthed two East India Company (EIC)-era cannons over two centuries old. Both bear the insignia “GR” – Georgius…

Source: Archaeologists find two historic cannons at Fort Cornwallis

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Language previously unknown to linguists discovered in Southeast Asia

via Science Direct, 06 February 2018:

A language previously unknown to linguists — dubbed Jedek — has been found in the Malay Peninsula, researchers from Sweden report. The community in which Jedek is spoken is more gender-equal than Western societies, there is almost no interpersonal violence, they consciously encourage their children not to compete, and there are no laws or courts, according to the researchers.

Source: Language previously unknown to linguists discovered in Southeast Asia

CFP: International Conference on Managing Urban Cultural Heritage

An interesting conference to be held in Georgtown, Penang. Deadline for abstracts is 1 March 2018.

2018 marks the 10th anniversary of George Town and Malacca being inscribed as a World Heritage Site. In conjunction with this historical milestone, George Town World Heritage Incorporated is organising the International Conference on Managing Urban Cultural Heritage. The conference will be held from 1 to 4 October 2018 in the George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site, Penang, Malaysia.

Cities are historically culturally diverse centers for knowledge, innovation, and memory, and act as a reflection of a society’s identity. They are composed of interconnected layers of natural and cultural, tangible and intangible, international and local values, and are constantly evolving and adapting. The complex and dynamic nature of a city makes the management of a living urban heritage extra challenging, yet meaningful.

This conference aims to bring together stakeholders engaged in the development, conservation, and management of heritage cities. Members of national and local governments, universities and research centers, NGOs, the private sector, community groups, and civil society, are invited to share their successes and challenges in the following ten themes addressing urban heritage management.

International Conference on Managing Urban Cultural Heritage

Over 400 Bornean ethnographic artifacts in Holland to come home soon

via Borneo Post, 25 November 2017:

KUCHING: More than 400 Bornean ethnographic artifacts will be returned to Sarawak Museum from a museum in the City of Delft in the Netherlands. The artifacts were symbolically handed over by Delft …

Source: Over 400 Bornean ethnographic artifacts in Holland to come home soon

[New Paper] Revisiting the Bujang Valley: A Southeast Asian entrepôt complex on the maritime trade route

New paper on the Bujang Valley by Stephen Murphy:

In the early 1830s and 1840s, a British colonial official by the name of Colonel James Low uncovered evidence for an early culture with Indic traits in a river system known as the Bujang Valley. On the west coast of the Thai-Malay peninsula, the Bujang Valley is today located in the Malaysian state of Kedah. However, it wasn’t until just before World War II that excavations took place, conducted by H. G. Quaritch Wales and his wife Dorothy. Their discoveries and subsequent publications led to the first real attempts to explain the origins and extent of this civilisation and its place within the larger South and Southeast Asian world. In the intervening years between Quaritch Wales’s excavations and the present day, considerably more research has taken place within the Bujang Valley, though this has not been without controversy. Recently claims and counter-claims regarding the antiquity of Hinduism and Buddhism at the site have arisen in some quarters within Malaysia. It therefore seems pertinent that this material be re-evaluated in light of new scholarship and discoveries as well as the prevailing paradigms of interactions between South and Southeast Asia. This paper presents an updated reading of this material and argues that the Bujang Valley should be seen as a cosmopolitan trading port with substantive evidence for the presence of Hinduism and Buddhism.

Source: Revisiting the Bujang Valley: A Southeast Asian entrepôt complex on the maritime trade route | Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society | Cambridge Core
https://doi.org/10.1017/S1356186317000505

Follow Darren Curnoe on his Niah Caves excavation

Darren Curnoe of the University of New South Wales is on his three-week excavation of the Niah Caves in Sarawak and he will be tweeting and broadcasting his experiences on Facebook Live. You can follow his progress here:

Darren Curnoe – Anthropologist. 80 likes. Biological anthropologist and archaeologist with an insatiable curiosity about the kind of creature we are and how we came to be this way.

Source: Darren Curnoe – Anthropologist

Old-new history of ancient Kedah

via New Straits Times, 11 November 2017: Archaeoturism at the Sungei Batu site.

If you’re now thinking that this is a recently discovered lost civilisation in the dense tropical jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula or South America, built by either the fearsome Mayans or Aztecs, well think again. This latest ground-breaking discovery predating many well-known ancient civilisations is found right here in our very own backyard. To be exact, it’s located in Malaysia’s northern state of Kedah.

Armed with these tantalising facts related to me recently by a friend, I make my way to the main entrance of the Sungai Batu archaeological site. I’m excited and ready to see for myself the many amazing discoveries that are set to rewrite history textbooks in the near future.

Acting on my friend’s advice, I quickly sign up for a guided tour that costs only RM10 for locals. The tour, conducted by graduate students of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), allows visitors access into many key areas within the excavation complex which currently houses nearly 100 excavated sites. Be forewarned that most of these important sites are off-limits to those who opt for free access to the area.

Source: Old-new history of ancient Kedah | New Straits Times | Malaysia General Business Sports and Lifestyle News

Gua Pelangi, Negeri Sembilan’ prehistoric cave site

via Sinar Harian, 26 October 2017: (article is in Bahasa Malaysia)

SEBUT sahaja Gua Niah, Sarawak, dan Gua Bewah, Terengganu sudah pasti ramai yang sudah mengenali khazanah negara itu berbanding Gua Pelangi yang terletak di Negeri Sembilan.

Source: Gua Pelangi semarak sejarah Negeri Sembilan – Rencana – Sinar Harian