7 Lectures from iTunes U on Southeast Asian Archaeology


Last week, Apple announced a revamped iBooks and iTunes U service aimed at bringing textbooks and course materials to the iPad. There’s a fair buzz in the education circles, but how much content is there relating to the archaeology of Southeast Asia?

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China's ventures into its underwater past

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Maritime trade between China and the rest of the world (often passing through Southeast Asia) has been around for nearly 2,000 years, but it has only been in the recent past that China has built up the capability to undertake archaeological investigations underwater.

The ‘Other’ Silk Road: China Peers Into Maritime Past
NPR, 02 July 2010
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The Chinese origin of Pacific Islanders

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Archaeologist Jiao Tianlong is exploring the origins of the Austronesian people, who spread their language and technology from Southeast China and Taiwan to the rest of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands some 6,000 years ago.

Archaeologists Find Evidence of Origin of Pacific Islanders
Voice of America, 31 March 2008
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Palau skeletons and Homo floresiensis on National Public Radio

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The National Public Radio’s Science Friday programme has a 12-minute interview with Lee Berger, the principal investigator of the Palau skeletons. Find out what this find means for the homo floresiensis debate and for our understanding of humankind in general.

photo credit: Rosino

Discovery Casts Doubt on ‘Hobbit’ Theory
NPR, 14 March 2008
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Interview with a Singaporean archaeologist

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8 May 2007 (Radio Singapore International) – RSI’s series Discovering Singapore, features an interview with Singaporean archaeologist Lim Chen Sian, about what archaeologists do, and what’s there to find in Singapore.

Archaeology in Singapore

Would you believe that beneath the concrete jungles of cosmopolitan Singapore, we can find white sand dating back to the republic’s early days of Sang Nila Utama? Or even the discovery of forts that probably existed during the British colonial era?

Just some of the unusual discoveries by Singapore’s rare breed of archaeologists like Lim Chen Sian. With their trusty digging tools, these archaeologists attempt to uncover more behind Singapore’s rich historical past.

But what does an archaeologist in Singapore really do? And are there really that many treasures to dig up in the republic?

Read and listen to the interview here.

Related Books:
Early Singapore 1300s – 1819: Evidence in Maps, Text and Artefacts by J. N. Miksic and C. Low (Eds)

Angkor Wat relics on sale on eBay

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17 May 2007 (PM) – PM is an afternoon radio news show in Australia. I think the title says it all: it’s alarming to learn that such pieces of Angkor Wat were on eBay for sale. It’s also interesting to note that the seller is based in Thailand and the goods are in Singapore – the two countries in SEA which have not been signatory to the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. The programme talks to people in eBay and Dr. Dougald O’Reilly, the director of Heritage Watch, an NGO based in Cambodia. You can hear the SEAArch podcast with Dr O’Reilly here.

Angkor Wat relics for sale on eBay

MARK COLVIN: Angkor Wat is a huge and ancient city of palaces and temples that rise out of the Cambodian forests and whose history gives it a prised position on the world heritage-list.

Now, a vendor on the Internet auction site eBay says you can have your very own piece of it.

Invaders and treasure hunters have looted Angkor Wat extensively since the Khmer kings abandoned it hundreds of years ago.

Although it’s been illegal to remove relics from Cambodia for the last decade, heritage workers say those laws are very difficult to enforce.

Timothy McDonald reports.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: For just under $6,000 you can have your own relief sculpture or statue to sit on the mantelpiece or next to the water feature in the back yard.

There’s just one problem, it’s quite possibly illegal to buy or sell the goods.

So eBay immediately started an investigation when PM informed the company about the seller.

Read the full story and even listen to the broadcast here.

Podcast 04: 1421 Exposed

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The first podcast for the year is finally done! It’s been a real busy January-and-February for me, and this podcast was supposed to be for January (I was targeting a podcast a month) but unfortunately delays in my own schedule forced me to take a longer time producing this episode. =(

The SEAArch podcast speaks to Dr Geoff Wade of the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore about his website, 1421 Exposed. The site was set up up response to the controversial 2002 book, 1421 by Gavin Menzies which claimed that the Chinese admiral Zheng He circumnavigated the world. Find out why Dr Wade set up this website, and the main arguments against the 1421 thesis.

Hear and download the podcast from the SEAArch podcast page

Related Books:
When China Ruled the Seas: The Treasure Fleet of the Dragon Throne, 1405-1433 by L. Levathes