The three words that solved an 800-year-old shipwreck mystery

via News.com.au, 17 May 2018: Chinese inscription provides evidence for a new date to the Java Sea Shipwreck.

AN 800-year-old piece of pottery has helped archaeologists put together fascinating new details about a medieval ship that sank off the coast of Indonesia.

Source: The three words that solved an 800-year-old shipwreck mystery

Revisiting the date of the Java Sea Shipwreck from Indonesia
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.04.002

In this article we draw on suites of new information to reinterpret the date of the Java Sea Shipwreck. The ship was a Southeast Asian trading vessel carrying a large cargo of Chinese ceramics and iron as well as luxury items from outside of China, such as elephant tusks and resin. Initially the wreck, which was recovered in Indonesia, was placed temporally in the mid- to late 13th century based on a single radiocarbon sample and ceramic styles. We employ new data, including multiple radiocarbon dates and inscriptions found on some of the ceramics, to suggest that an earlier chronological placement be considered.

See also:

CFP: Global Jars: Asian Containers as Transcultural Enclosures

Global Jars: Asian Containers as Transcultural Enclosures
Academy of Visual Arts
Hong Kong Baptist University

September 8-9, 2018

Few objects are as universal, ubiquitous and multi-functional as a jar. The term ‘jar’ refers to any man-made shape with the capacity to enclose something, and hence jars are part of human experience throughout time and space, regardless of whether they contain matter or a void, food or drink, life-giving medicine or the ashes of the deceased. Yet, as ubiquitous as such containers, storage vessels, urns, and other kinds of jars might be, they may have been studied by archaeologists and anthropologists, but so far remained almost invisible to the eye of the (art) historian. This conference, entitled ‘Global Jars: Asian Containers as Transcultural Enclosures’, aims to make jars of all kinds visible in a variety of spatial contexts.

We invite proposals for papers to be presented at this conference to be held on the campus of Hong Kong Baptist University, Academy of Visual Arts, September 8-9, 2018.

This conference brings together an interdisciplinary team of scholars in the fields of ceramic studies, history and art history to approach the topic of the jar from multiple perspectives. Contributors are invited to consider jars not only as (household) utensils and evidence of lost or present human civilizations but also as artefacts in their own right, as culturally and aesthetically defined crafted goods and as objects charged with spiritual meanings and ritual significance. They understand jars not only as belonging to a single place, but as global or transcultural artefacts in which different cultures meet and merge. The goal is furthermore to examine jars not only as ceramic containers, but as materializing a boundary between inside and outside, content and environment, exterior worlds and interior enclosures; jars not only as things in the hands of makers, users, and collectors, but, in some cases, as understood to possess human-like agency, animalistic or other-worldly powers themselves.

This conference uses art-historical methods to understand jars as transcultural containers that mediate between inside and outside, Asian and non-Asian, local and global, this-worldly and other-worldly realms. Special attention will be given to the relationships between the filling, emptying and re-filling of jars with a variety of contents through time and throughout space and the charging, eliminating and re-charging of these particular objects with different sets of meanings.

Those interested in presenting a paper at the conference should send a proposal of 300 words accompanied by a bio note of 150 words (in one document) as an e-mail attachment to globaljars@hkbu.edu.hk.

Proposal deadline: June 1, 2018.

Selected participants will be notified by June 19, 2018. Final papers are due August 9, 2018.

A substantial contribution to travel costs to Hong Kong and lodging for all speakers during the conference will be provided.

Dr. Anna Katharina Grasskamp

Research Assistant Professor
ACADEMY OF VISUAL ARTS
Hong Kong Baptist University
CVA314, Communication and Visual Arts Building Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong

Associate Member
Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe in a Global Context at Heidelberg University
Karl Jaspers Centre for Advanced Transcultural Studies
Voßstr. 2, Building 4400
69115 Heidelberg
Germany

Thang Long imperial city excavation reveals large structures

via Vietnam Net, 20 April 2018:

 An archaeological excavation at the Thang Long imperial city in 2017 has uncovered many traces of former buildings and other artefacts dating from the period of Chinese domination up to the Nguyen Dynasty.

Source: Thang Long imperial city excavation reveals large structures

How ancient pottery techniques are getting a reboot in Kampong Chhnang

via Phnom Penh Post, 02 April 2018:

In a little shack in Andong Russey village, at the foot of Phnom Krang Dei Meas mountain, Grandma Moun slaps into shape the round-bottomed clay pot that is the de facto symbol of Kampong Chhnang province.

Source: How ancient pottery techniques are getting a reboot in Kampong Chhnang

ไม่ปล่อยให้โกง…ใช้ “แสงซินโครตรอน” พิสูจน์เครื่องปั้นบ้านเชียงของแท้-ของปลอมได้แม่นยำ

via MGR Online, 26 March 2018: The Thai Fine Arts Department and the Synchrotron Light Research Institute develop ways to study and authenticate Ban Chiang ceramics. Article is in Thai.

ไม่ปล่อยให้โกงนักวิจัยไทย-กรมศิลปากรใช้เทคโนโลยี “แสงซินโครตรอน” พิสูจน์วัตถุโบราณ “บ้านเชียง” อายุ 3,500 ปี ว่าเป็นของปลอมหรือจริงได้แม่นยำ

Source: ไม่ปล่อยให้โกง…ใช้ “แสงซินโครตรอน” พิสูจน์เครื่องปั้นบ้านเชียงของแท้-ของปลอมได้แม่นยำ

WESTERN AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM CATALOGUE OF PREVIOUSLY UNPUBLISHED DATA FROM THAI-AUSTRALIAN EXCAVATIONS IN THAILAND

via the Western Australian Museum: This report has been collated for the purpose of completing the record of artefacts recovered during excavations undertaken by joint Thai-Australian expeditions in the 1980s. This group represented the Thai Fine Arts Department Underwater Archaeology Division, Silapakorn University, the Thai Ceramic Archaeological Project, the Western Australian Museum, the Australian (now Australasian) Institute for Archaeology, the University of Adelaide, the Art Gallery of South Australia and on occasion, participants of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMO), Special Project in Archaeology and Fine Arts (SPAFA). Participants represented Thailand, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Canada, Poland and the United States of America. Included is information recorded by the author whilst participating in excavations of kiln sites at Si Satchanalai, Sukhothai Province and the Bang Rachan or Mae Nam Noi Kiln site, Singburi Province, Thailand during the 1980s. A brief visit was also made to the Ban Bang Pun Kiln site, Suphanburi. The author was also privileged to have been given access to the ceramic sherd collection of the National Museum of the Philippines, Manila and those of the regional museums of Butuan and Cebu cities.

Training in Thin-Section Petrography for Use in Archaeological Ceramic Studies

Training opportunity for Thin-Section Petrography in ceramics studies. Deadline is 26 Janaury 2018:

Notice of Workshop at the Angkor Ceramics Unit
Training in Thin-Section Petrography for Use in Archaeological Ceramic Studies
5 – 9 March, 2018
Siem Reap, Cambodia

This workshop is designed for Southeast Asian practicing archaeologists and advanced students engaged in the study of ceramics and excavation of ceramic kilns. Led by two experienced senior specialists, the workshop will convey knowledge of the techniques and uses of polarized light microscopy of ceramics and stone, known as thin-section petrography, and standard ceramic engineering tests of sherds and raw materials.

The program will take place from Monday 5 March through Friday 9 March 2018 in Siem Reap, Cambodia, at the Angkor Ceramics Unit. The Angkor Ceramics Unit stores and studies ceramics excavated from kiln sites in Greater Angkor. In 2015 it was declared an official component of the Angkor International Center for Research and Documentation, a division of the Apsara Authority (Authority for the Protection of the Site and Management of the Region of Angkor), with the official endorsement of UNESCO.

The workshop will consist of a hands-on short course on thin-section petrographic analysis of archaeological ceramics, together with hands-on observation and testing of the structure (optical microscopy, chemical tests), composition (pXRF) and properties of sherds and raw materials.Participants will gain skills in low-cost but highly effective methods for identifying the mineralogical constituents of ceramic materials, discerning variability in materials, and relating that variability to differences in geological or archaeological sources and to ceramic technologies. A focus on the specific nature of Cambodian materials is a distinguishing feature of the workshop.

The primary workshop instructors will be Dr. Chandra L. Reedy, Professor in the Center for Historic Architecture and Design and Director of the Laboratory for Analysis of Cultural Materials, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA; and Dr. Pamela B. Vandiver, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Co-Director, Program in Heritage Conservation Science, and Adjunct Professor, School of Anthropology in Archaeology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA.

The workshop is organised by H. E. Tan Boun Suy and Dr. Ea Darith of the Angkor International Center for Research and Documentation, Apsara Authority, and Louise Cort, curator for ceramics, Freer|Sackler, Smithsonian Institution. Financial support is provided by the Luce Foundation and the Friends of Khmer Culture.

The workshop is open to 16 practicing archaeologists and advanced students—8 from Cambodia and 8 from other countries in Southeast Asia. Travel assistance, accommodation, food, and limited per diem will be provided.

Applications should be received no later than Friday 26 January 2018. Successful applicants will be advised by email.

APPLICATION

Please submit your application in English by email to Dr. Ea Darith, eadarith@yahoo.com and Louise Cort, cortlo@si.edu. Please provide the following information:

  1. Name (family name in capital letters)
  2. Age, gender
  3. Email address
  4. Home postal address
  5. Institutional affiliation
  6. Name of person to whom you are responsible (such as supervisor or head of department) and that person’s email address
  7. Proposed means of travel to and from your home base and Siem Reap, and estimate of costs
  8. Summary of education (degrees and dates) and previous experience in field archaeology and the study of archaeological ceramics
  9. Brief statement of current research and research interests. Please add citations to your reports and publications, if applicable.

Thank you from the workshop team.