Gunung Padang excavators working out of questionable assumptions

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Gunung Padang site, Java. Source: Jakarta Globe 20141028

A controversial archaeological excavation is taking place at Gunung Padang, a megalith site in Java, where the investigators are looking for evidence for a lost civilisation. The problem is, they seem to be working on a number of questionable assumptions, and the article talks about one of them – the so-called Out of Sundaland hypothesis.

Gunung Padang site, Java. Source: Jakarta Globe 20141028

Gunung Padang site, Java. Source: Jakarta Globe 20141028

‘Out of Sundaland’ Assumption Disproved
Jakarta Globe, 28 October 2014
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Conference on Megaliths in Southeast Asia and the Pacific

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For any readers in Seoul, you might be interested in this conference on Megaliths in Southeast Asia and the Pacific in Sogang University.

2014 포스터 최종

Problematising Megaliths of Southeast Asia and the Pacific
Date: 16-17 October 2014
Venue: Room 302, Jeong Hasang Hall, Sogang University, Seoul, South Korea

Download Brochure

Excavation at Indonesian megalithic site draws criticism

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An excavation at the Gunung Padag megalithic site has drawn criticism for its excavation methods by the local archaeology centre. The excavation is being run by an independent team of researcher, who according to the report, have “unlimited” funding.

Archaeologists slam excavation of Gunung Padang site
Jakarta Post, 30 September 2014
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Perupun Arur Ritan stone mound site

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Nicholas Gani

Nicholas Gani

Nicholas Gani
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
It’s a photo of Lindsay Lloyd-Smith and I trying to capture a ‘perfect’ plan shot of the excavation trench at the Perupun Arur Ritan stone mound site in the village of Pa Lungan in the Kelabit Highlands of Sarawak. Part of our work in this year’s Early Central Borneo project, which just ended last week.

Gunungmegang Statue; Man and Elephant

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Harry Octavianus Sofian

Harry Octavianus Sofian

Harry Octavianus Sofian
Balai Arkeologi Palembang – Departemen Pendidikan Dan Kebudayaan Republik Indonesia
Gunungmegang statue is one of the site from Pasemah Megalithic Culture, located at the foot of the Mountain Dempo, Lahat Distric, South Sumatera Province – Indonesia. Pasemah megalithic culture is very unic, because the representation from the statue not stiff, but show dynamic activity,like Gunungmegang statue, show man holding the trunk of the elephant. This statue show us how the ancient people do domestication of wild elephants?

Now that’s a lot of rock art

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Something I’m working on at the moment is to try georeferencing every mention of a rock art site in Southeast Asia on a Google Earth map. Here’s the current work in progres:

Rock Art Sites in SEA

Rock Art Sites in SEA

Reds are painted and drawn sites, Blues are petroglyphs, and Greens are megaliths. I have been on record before saying there are at least 400-600 known sites in the region. My current count is somewhere close to 1,400.

Now that’s a lot of rock art.

Another sensational claim from Indonesia

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A presidential-sanctioned group named the Prehistoric Catastrophic Disaster Research Team is claiming that the megaliths on top of Mount Padang in West Java are in fact part of a larger structure buried 18 metres below ground. Some of the claims made here by the scientists seem to be very sensational, and not all too factually correct – such as the claim that the structure dates to 4,000 years old and therefore older than the pyramids of Giza. The pyramids of Giza were built in the mid-third millennium BCE, which make them older than 4000 years. This same group is linked with the alleged pyramid at Mount Sadahurip. I wonder what’s with the fixation on the pyramids?

‘Iconic ancient structures might be found’
Jakarta Post, 08 February 2012
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Linkdump Feb 01-13, 2011

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Here’s a list of archaeology stories from Southeast Asia that I missed out on over the last two weeks. Most prominently has been the eruption of fighting between the military forces of Cambodia and Thailand at the border near Preah Vihear:

Preah Vihear, wikicommons

  • Alison in Cambodia has been keeping tabs on the situation far more competently than I am. Check her posts out here, here and here.
  • 2 die as Thai, Cambodian troops battle at border [AP, via Jakarta Post, 04 Feb 2011]
  • Villagers flee deadly clashes on Thai-Cambodian border [Malaysia Sun, 06 Feb 2011]
  • Thai, Cambodian clashes resume at disputed border [AP, via TodayOnline, 07 Feb 2011]
  • Temple at centre of Thai-Cambodian dispute [AFP, vis SBS, 07 Feb 2011]
  • Call For Preah Vihear Temple To Be Handed To UN [Bernama, 07 Feb 2011]
  • Ancient temple at centre of Thai-Cambodian dispute [AFP, vis MSN Philippines, 07 Feb 2011]
  • The Preah Vihar issue damages not only the temple but also mutual understanding [ETN, 07 Feb 2011]
  • Hindus ask ASEAN to save Shiva temple from further damage in Thai-Cambodia clash [ANI, via Daily India, 08 Feb 2011]
  • Thai-Cambodian border quiet as UNESCO eyes temple visit [AFP, via Channel NewsAsia, 09 Feb 2011
  • Unesco should not send its team to Preah Vihear temple : Thai FM [The Nation, 09 Feb 2011]
  • Cambodia, Thailand to face UN over border dispute [AFP, 09 Feb 2011]
  • Foreign Ministry opposes Unesco temple visit [Bangkok Post, 10 Feb 2011]
  • Historic temple caught in Thai-Cambodia crossfire [WHP TV, 10 Feb 2011]
  • Thailand to urge UNESCO to review Preah Vihear’s World Heritage listing [MCOT, 10 Feb 2011]
  • Cambodia to shun bilateral dialogue [The Nation, 13 Feb 2011]
  • PM: No surprise that Cambodia not attending JBC meeting [MCOT, 13 Feb 2011]
  • UN to meet over Preah Vihear [Phnom Penh Post, 13 Feb 2011]

More news after the jump.
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