Discounted rates at the World Rock Art course

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The upcoming World Rock Art course scheduled to be held at the end of the year in Malaysia is offering a discounted rate for early registrants of ₤675 (including accommodation, lunches and refreshments) if you register before 1 August. The amount is still quite steep for those of us in Asia, so Barry Lewis, the project officer at Trent & Peak Archaeology of the University of Nottingham has asked all interested parties to email him so that he can get an idea of the level of interest – the more people who are interested in the course, the lower the cost will go. So, email him at

You can download a copy of the flyer here, or by clicking on the picture.

Related books:
Introduction to Rock Art Research
Handbook of Rock Art Research
Rock art and posterity: Conserving, managing and recording rock art : proceedings of symposium M, “Conservation and site management” and symposium E, “Recording … Darwin in 1988 (Occasional AURA publication)
World Rock Art (Conservation and Cultural Heritage Series)

Thai community archaeology project boosted thanks to grant

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Pang Ma Pha district, in the Mae Hong Son province of Thailand is benefiting from a grant by the US government to support an archaeological research project focusing on the local caves. The project is run by Dr. Rasmi Shoocongdej from Silpakorn University.

I heard Dr. Shoocongdej presenting her Mae Hong Son work at a conference last year. Unlike most archaeological projects, this one really involved the community in managing the site, to the extent of teaching school kids about the prehistory of the region, as well as training guides within the community to help boost local tourism work. It’s a fine example of community archaeology.

photo credit: Michael Scalet

Preserving the Past
Bangkok Post, 04 March 2008
Link is no longer available

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Thailand's rock art

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The Shumla (Studying Human Use of Materials, Land, and Art), a centre for rock art research based in Texas, recently made a trip to Thailand to see some of the rock art there. Rock art is one of the least understood pieces of material culture in Southeast Asia, and in this region is given a cursory, by-the-way mention in texts. Rock art in Thailand is clustered around the northeast and along the peninsula.

Southwest Texas Live, 21 Feb 2008

Shumla sends Texas to Thailand for rock art research
Southwest Texas live, 21 February 2008
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The Indianization of Southeast Asia

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PDQ Submission
If you’re in the area, KaalaChakra: The Wheel of Time is a current exhibition at the National Library of Singapore showcasing the influence of Indian culture into ancient Southeast Asia. With the kind permission of the National Library Board, SEAArch brings you highlights from this fascinating exhibition.

The term ‘Indianization’ was coined in the early 20th century and was seen as a cultural colonization of Southeast Asia – the idea was that Indian princes and merchants would set up colonies and trading posts in Southeast Asia (notably, Suvarnabhumi and Suvarnadvipa) in their desire to build trade with China. In doing so “converted” local populations into their Indian way of life and religion. Yes, the theory sounds awfully colonial in its thinking, and it fed to another underlying assumption that Southeast Asia was an archaeological backwater compared to the great civilisations of India and China.
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Gua Tambun rediscovered

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4 Decemeber 2006 (The Star) – A local conducts tours to Malaysia’s biggest rock art site, which is in danger of erosion due to inadequate protection.

Gua Tambun rediscovered

Gua Tambun may have 3,000-year-old cave drawings of humans and prancing deers but some Malaysians are now only “discovering” the cave here.

Since May, business consultant Cae Hiew, 29, has been spending his Sunday mornings guiding the public to the almost hidden cave.

A check showed that the concrete steps were overgrown with weeds and leaves and that a signboard put up by the Museums Department had also been defaced.

Those interested in visiting Gua Tambun can meet Hiew at the Makro Hypermarket parking lot here at 10am every Sunday. Hiew can be contacted at 012-511 8116.

How artists view Sapa’s ancient rock carvings

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20 September 2006 (Vietnam Net Bridge) – This article has made me change my “cave drawings” category to “Cave Art / Rock Art”.

Vietnam Net Bridge, 20 Sep 2006

How artists view Sapa’s ancient rock carvings

Artistic interpretations of the strange rock carvings around Sapa are the theme of a photographic exhibition organized by the Fine Arts Institute, the Southeast Prehistory Center and the Lao Cai Department of Culture and Information at the Hanoi University of Fine Arts until the end of September.

Prehistoric drawings risk being lost


27 May 2006 (The Star)

Prehistoric drawings risk being lost

Prehistoric drawings and inscriptions in more than 15 caves might be defaced due to lack of efforts to protect them, said National Museum archaeologist Sanim Ahmad.

He said the prehistoric drawings found on the walls of the Tambun Cave near Ipoh were so badly-damaged or smeared by graffiti that they were hardly-visible now.