[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.

War relic detonated at construction site in Singapore

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via Channel NewsAsia, 30 July 2018:

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) on Sunday (Jul 29) detonated a war relic found at a construction site along Woodlands Road.

In a Facebook post on Monday morning, SAF said that its Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team was activated at 11am on the day the relic was found and assessed it to be a 15cm-high “explosive projectile”.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/war-relic-detonated-at-construction-site-along-woodlands-road-10573328

Source: War relic detonated at construction site along Woodlands Road

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[Lecture] The Orang Laut and the Realm of the Straits (Negara Selat)

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Readers in Singapore may be interested in this talk by Leonard Andaya on Wednesday.

The Orang Laut and the Realm of the Straits (Negara Selat)
Date: Wednesday, 25 July 2018
Time: 10.00 am – 11.30 am
Venue: ISEAS Seminar Room 2

About the Lecture
When Raffles visited the island of Singapore in 1819, he found only a few scattered houses of the Orang Laut and some Malay followers of the Temenggung of Johor. Still heavily forested, there was no evidence the island could ever rival the port city of Penang, established by the British in 1786. However, it was not the island but the seas around it that were its key geographical feature.

The straits off Singapore were the major thoroughfares for trading ships from Europe, Middle East, and India in the west, and China, Japan, Korea, and Ryukyu in the east. The Malays, who occupied both sides of the Straits, were the primary beneficiaries of this trade, but they relied heavily on the services of their allies, the Orang Laut or Sea People.

Yet the role of the Orang Laut has been largely forgotten or ignored. A contributing factor is the historian’s gaze which has been largely landlocked and unable to comprehend that the “few scattered houses of the Orang Laut” masked the reality of a thriving community pursuing a maritime lifestyle.

This presentation will examine the historical evidence in an effort to restore the Orang Laut to their rightful place as major players in the history of the world of the Straits from early times to the nineteenth century.

About the Speaker
Leonard Y. Andaya received his BA from Yale University and his MA and PhD from Cornell University. He is at present professor of Southeast Asian history at the University of Hawai’i, and has written extensively on the early modern period, particularly of Indonesia and Malaysia. His most recent publications are Leaves of the Same Tree: Trade and Ethnicity in the Straits of Melaka (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2008); (with Barbara Watson Andaya) A History of Early Modern Southeast Asia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015); and (with Barbara Watson Andaya) A History of Malaysia, Third Edition (London: Palgrave, 2017). He was the Tan Chin Tuan Professor in Malay Studies at NUS in 2011-2012 and is currently the inaugural holder of the Yusof Ishak Chair in the Social Sciences at NUS. He is currently writing a history of eastern Indonesia in the early modern period.

Angkor exhibition at Asian Civilisations Museum extended till July 29

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via The Straits Times, 09 July 2018:

Lifestyle News -SINGAPORE – The Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) has extended its exhibition Angkor: Exploring Cambodia’s Sacred City by a week till July 29, 2018.. Read more at straitstimes.com.

Source: Angkor exhibition at Asian Civilisations Museum extended till July 29, Lifestyle News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

[Talk] Why Was There No Singapore Before Raffles?

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Readers in Singapore may be interested in this talk at ISEAS next Wedneday

Why Was There No Singapore Before Raffles?
Date : Wednesday, 18 July 2018
Time : 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Venue : ISEAS Seminar Room 2

This seminar will examine issues in the writing about the history of Singapore before 1819. Sir Stamford Raffles and Dr John Crawfurd, the second Resident of Singapore, lead in reporting that Singapore was uninhabited before the British arrived. Generations of historians have concurred with this description of Singapore at 1819 and gone further to claim, as former Professors K G Tregonning and C M Turnbull have done, that whatever may have happened on Singapore before 1819 is irrelevant to the island’s historical development thereafter. This seminar explores the assumptions underlying this understanding of Singapore’s history and how the work at the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre is challenging and revising these assumptions.

Angkor’s ‘modern history’ with France reveals the politics of art

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via Euronews, 07 May 2018: An interview with Dr Stephen Murphy, a personal friend and one of the curators of the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore about the ongoing Angkor exhibition.

The Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore has decided to unveil this extraordinary story with its latest exhibit — and in an interview with Euronews.

Source: Angkor’s ‘modern history’ with France reveals the politics of art

Angkor Events at the Asian Civilisations Museum

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In conjunction with the exhibition, Angkor: Exploring Cambodia’s Sacred City that is currently on at the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore, there are a number of associated events upcoming in May and June:

‘They didn’t even have coffins’: The man who dug up the remains of World War II victims in Singapore

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via Chanel NewsAsia, 07 April 2018:

SINGAPORE: In 1962, Goh Thiam Hoon had only been digging in the heavy, damp soil for a short while when he found what he was looking for. But achieving his goal on his first day on the job didn’t make him happy. Far from it. “I could not believe it,” he said, describing feelings of uneasiness.  Mr Goh, who was aged 25 at the time, had just uncovered a mass grave filled with piles of bones belonging to victims of the Second World War. This was near Jalan Puay Poon in Bedok, close to where Temasek Junior College now sits.

Source: ‘They didn’t even have coffins’: The man who dug up the remains of World War II victims in Singapore

Archaeologists digging up the past at Singapore Art Museum

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via The New Paper, 05 April 2018:

Now, five archaeologists are looking to shed more light on the area’s history through a three-week archaeology investigation at SAM .

The team has started digging six 2m by 1m excavation pits – three in the front lawn and three more in SAM’s courtyards. Actual excavation work will start on Saturday.

The excavations, a partnership between the National Heritage Board (NHB) and SAM, are being carried out by the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre (NSC), Archaeology Unit at the Iseas-Yusof Ishak Institute.

Source: Archaeologists digging up the past at Singapore Art Museum