[Paper] Craniometrics Reveal “Two Layers” of Prehistoric Human Dispersal in Eastern Eurasia

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Distribution of craniometric samples from Matsumura et al. 2019, Craniometrics Reveal “Two Layers” of Prehistoric Human Dispersal in Eastern Eurasia
Distribution of craniometric samples from Matsumura et al. 2019, Craniometrics Reveal “Two Layers” of Prehistoric Human Dispersal in Eastern Eurasia

via Nature Scientific Reports, 05 Feb 2019: Analysis of skulls from archaeological sites in Southeast and East Asia support a two-layer model of anatomically modern populations entering into Asia.

Craniometrics Reveal “Two Layers” of Prehistoric Human Dispersal in Eastern Eurasia
Nature Scientific Reports, Matsumura et al., https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-35426-z

This cranio-morphometric study emphasizes a “two-layer model” for eastern Eurasian anatomically modern human (AMH) populations, based on large datasets of 89 population samples including findings directly from ancient archaeological contexts. Results suggest that an initial “first layer” of AMH had related closely to ancestral Andaman, Australian, Papuan, and Jomon groups who likely entered this region via the Southeast Asian landmass, prior to 65–50 kya. A later “second layer” shared strong cranial affinities with Siberians, implying a Northeast Asian source, evidenced by 9 kya in central China and then followed by expansions of descendant groups into Southeast Asia after 4 kya. These two populations shared limited initial exchange, and the second layer grew at a faster rate and in greater numbers, linked with contexts of farming that may have supported increased population densities. Clear dichotomization between the two layers implies a temporally deep divergence of distinct migration routes for AMH through both southern and northern Eurasia.

Source: Craniometrics Reveal “Two Layers” of Prehistoric Human Dispersal in Eastern Eurasia | Scientific Reports

Plastic pioneers: Hominin biogeography east of the Movius Line during the Pleistocene

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Lowland Palawan by Noel Amano. Source: EurekaAlert, 20190128

via Archaeological Research in Asia, 25 January 2019: A new paper by Roberts and Amano looking at human occupation of different types of environments in Southeast Asia suggests that modern humans are ecologically distinct from other hominin species.

Lowland Palawan by Noel Amano. Source: EurekaAlert, 20190128

Lowland Palawan by Noel Amano. Source: EurekaAlert, 20190128

Plastic pioneers: Hominin biogeography east of the Movius Line during the Pleistocene

While the “Movius Line” may no longer represent a valid cultural division between Early and Middle Pleistocene hominins in South and Southeast Asia, it still offers a useful geographical and ecological window into changing processes of colonization by different members of the genus Homo. In this paper, we initially review the palaeoenvironmental and cultural record associated with Homo erectus and Homo floresiensis to argue for a relatively homogeneous adaptive strategy utilized by hominins moving east of this notional line during the Early and Middle Pleistocene. We then contrast this to the rapid dispersal of Homo sapiens into South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Melanesia, from at least 45,000 years ago, associated with specialized subsistence and technological adaptations to a variety of environmental settings. While earlier members of our genus appear to have followed riverine and lacustrine corridors, whose situation varied with periods of climate change, Homo sapiens specialized in adaptations to tropical rainforests, faunally depauperate island settings, montane environments, and deep-water marine habitats. After evaluating whether this distinction may be one of taphonomic and survey bias, and reviewing potential methodological developments that may facilitate further investigation, we suggest that the adaptive and cultural plasticity of our species enabled pioneering colonization and occupation not previously seen in this part of the world. This plasticity allowed our species to remain in this region through ever-increasing climatic instability and become the last surviving hominin in Late Pleistocene South Asia and Sahul.

Source: Plastic pioneers: Hominin biogeography east of the Movius Line during the Pleistocene – ScienceDirect

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[Job] Assistant Professor – Southeast Asian Studies in the Modern or Pre-Modern Period-Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies at UC Berkeley

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Deadline is Jan 25, 2019

The Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley invites applications for an Assistant Professor in Southeast Asian Studies, tenure track, with an expected start date of July 1, 2019. A Ph.D. (or equivalent international degree) or enrollment in a Ph.D. (or equivalent international degree) granting program, with specialization in Southeast Asian studies, and completion of all requirements except the dissertation, is required at the time of application.

We seek applications from scholars of Southeast Asia working in the humanities broadly defined across any country, culture or time period whose research is grounded in the region and its textual traditions. We welcome specializations in literature, religious studies, cultural, intellectual and social history, and cultural studies. Advanced literacy and proficiency with primary source materials in at least one Southeast Asian language is required. Proficiency in one or more additional relevant research languages, facility with diverse source materials, and the ability to think and work across disciplines, are preferred. Duties will include developing and teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in Southeast Asian studies, supervising graduate students, and oversight of relevant language instruction. Candidates should have a record of excellence and innovation in research and teaching, and a demonstrated commitment to education and mentorship, service to the profession, and to equity and inclusion. For more information about the Department go to: http://sseas.berkeley.edu

Source: Assistant Professor – Southeast Asian Studies in the Modern or Pre-Modern Period-Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies (JPF01897) – UC Berkeley AP Recruit

How to Successfully Fight the Illicit Trade in Stolen Art and Antiquities in Asia? Remove an Antiquated English Law from Hong Kong’s Legal System

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via Antiquities Coalition, December 2018: Prof. Steven Gallagher is the other co-convener on the session about Heritage Management Law and Policy in this year’s SPAFACON. Full policy paper in the link below.

The looting of art and antiquities from Asia is a problem exacerbated by continued demand. This is especially true in China, home to one of the greatest concentrations of millionaires worldwide, where a rapidly growing, newly wealthy class has entered the Asian art and antiquities market, escalating demand in an already thriving sector. Many Asian states that have lost and are continuing to lose cultural patrimony to looting and trafficking have introduced strict laws to combat the removal and unlawful export of art and antiquities from their jurisdiction. Transit and market states, too, have now implemented legal and regulatory frameworks, often based on international law, to deter citizens from dealing in looted art and antiquities or buyers from purchasing such goods when there is any doubt as to their provenance.

However, one of the world’s main markets for Asian art and antiquities, as well as a convenient and much-used transit hub, is a notable exception in having almost no laws intended to prevent this illicit trade: Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s legal and regulatory framework offers little protection for looted art and antiquities, and it retains one obsolete rule of law from its time as a British colony that may not only encourage buyers to purchase looted or stolen works, but also embolden those trying to construct false provenance to pass them through Hong Kong. This law is the rule of market overt, often referred to as a “thieves’ charter,” provided in Hong Kong’s Sale of Goods Ordinance. According to market overt, if someone purchases goods from a shop or market where they are openly on display and are of a type usually sold in such a shop or market, then the buyer acquires good title to the goods so long as they have bought them in good faith. This means that a buyer of looted art or antiquities from a shop usually selling art or antiquities in Hong Kong may resist any attempt by the losing party to recover their lost heritage, and may sell the pieces on to others who will also be safe from any action for recovery.`

Hong Kong has a reputation as one of the world’s leading financial and commercial centers, trusted because of rigorous regulation of its efficient financial and banking services, and confidence in its common law system. It is now also considered one of the world’s foremost Asian art and antiquities markets; however, the retention of an archaic and anachronistic principle of English medieval market law is baffling, especially when this principle has been abolished in the United Kingdom to prevent the flourishing of a “thief’s paradise.”

This policy brief explains some of the problems Asia faces with regard to looting of art and antiquities and loss of cultural heritage, and how Hong Kong’s legal and regulatory framework does little to prevent Hong Kong from being used as a market and transit state for illicitly obtained cultural patrimony. The brief recommends the simple repeal of section 24 of the Sale of Goods Ordinance to abolish the market overt rule in Hong Kong, as well as standardization of import and export laws between Hong Kong and China, strengthened law enforcement of antiquity-related crimes, and the inclusion of the art market in anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing provisions.

Source: How to Successfully Fight the Illicit Trade in Stolen Art and Antiquities in Asia? Remove an Antiquated English Law from Hong Kong’s Legal System – Think Tank

CFP: Chinese Temples in Southeast Asia

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Via Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. Deadline is 18 January 2019, while the seminar is on 1 Mar 2019.

Chinese historical and epigraphic sources such as those collected in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia by Wolfgang Franke and his associates demonstrate the long process of the spread of Chinese temples and associations to the port cities of Southeast Asia. This workshop will include papers on different aspects of Chinese temples (including Buddhist monasteries) across the countries of Southeast Asia, from a range of disciplinary perspectives including archaeology, history, religious and ritual studies, anthropology, sociology, economics, and media studies. We invite papers on a range of topics that can include: architectural and iconographic features of temples; the ritual production of space within and around these temples; the economics of Chinese temples; the charitable activities of Chinese temples; accounts of individuals and their relationships with these temples – temple directors, everyday devotees, ritual specialists, archivists, photographers, tourists, etc. Papers that seek to provide an overview of temple networks across Southeast Asia, or the interactions between temples within a particular city or site, are also welcome. Studies of the political conditions for Chinese temples in different locations are also welcome.

Temples are sites of the flows of ideas, people, gods, capital, and ritual artifacts – many kinds of movement and transformation – thus papers exploring mobility in relation to Chinese temples are also welcome. We seek papers on religion and migration, on the circulation or the training of ritual specialists, opera troupes, craftsmen and ritual artifacts within transnational networks. We also seek papers on spirit mediums and their roles in Chinese temples, papers on processions and major and minor rituals, or papers that explore typologies of temples. Scholars working with social network analysis or GIS approaches to Chinese temples in Southeast Asia are invited to send in paper proposals as well. Other papers could explore major religious events of Southeast Asia, such as the Nine Emperor God Festival, or Chinese New Year rites and processions, or the activities during the Ghost Month, either through individual case studies or through comparative or network analyses. We seek studies of locally invented cults and rites, hybrid ritual forms, and on the interactions between Chinese temple rites and communities with other religious or ethnic groups. Other related topics include the spread of particular Buddhist lineages, or sectarian religious movements, through the region. Comparative studies of ritual change and its causes and effects, or of the different kinds of trust networks and state-society relations developed within and between Chinese temples in different parts of Southeast Asia (and China, HK, Macao and Taiwan) would be welcome.

Source: CFP | Chinese Temples in Southeast Asia | Events – ARI

Asia Pacific Conference on Human Evolution

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Happening next year from 25-27 June 2019 in Brisbane, Australia.

Participants will include active researchers in palaeoanthropology, biological anthropology, genomics and palaeogenomics, primatology, as well as all disciplines engaged in understanding the environmental and site-specific context of human evolution across Asia and Australasia, including taphonomy, geochronology, palaeoecology, and geoarchaeology. This conference will foster international collaborations between researchers actively engaged in scientific analyses and exploration in Asia and the Pacific, and

Source: Asia Pacific Conference on Human Evolution

Job: University of Sydney – Postdoctoral Research Associate

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Postdoc Opportunity at the University of Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, for research in heritage and the arts. Deadline is 31 January 2019.

Australia’s premier centre for the multidisciplinary study of Southeast Asia, the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (SSEAC) responds to the complexity of Southeast Asia as a region and to its growing importance in our rapidly changing world. Drawing on the expertise of over 400 academics across a broad range of disciplines, SSEAC supports research excellence; works to foster a new generation of Southeast Asia experts; and partners with government, business and civil society groups to address real-world issues.

SSEAC’s postdoctoral positions are available to postdoctoral researchers working on topics related to our five research clusters—economic and social development, environment and resources, health, heritage and the arts, state and society—in any Southeast Asian country (or countries) and in any discipline. This year, we are offering one postdoctoral position, open to applicants working on any one of our five themes.

Appointees must have the support of a relevant host department. They are required to spend up to 20% of their time on centre duties, allocated at the discretion of the SSEAC director. The remaining 80% of their time is available for their own research projects, with research targets set in consultation with the SSEAC director or her delegate. Candidates who have held their PhDs for no more than three (3) years (or equivalent if there have been career interruptions) are eligible to apply.

In this position, you will:

conduct your individual research according to an agreed timeline and scope
prepare and submit high-quality publications according to an agreed timeline
design, plan, schedule and prepare for implementation of future research projects
contribute to the life of SSEAC through a range of SSEAC-related duties.

About you

The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect and integrity. As such, we see the importance in recruiting talent aligned to these values in the pursuit of research excellence. We are looking for a Postdoctoral Research Associate who possesses:

PhD in a relevant field of study (awarded no earlier than 1st January 2016 and no later than 1st January 2019, though consideration will be given for those with significant career interruption)
experience conducting original research related to Southeast Asia
experience publishing in high-quality journals
a willingness and ability to actively contribute to the life of SSEAC
capacity to work independently and as part of a team.

Source: University of Sydney – Postdoctoral Research Associate

SEAMEO SPAFA Archaeology Education Survey ends next week!

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SEAMEO SPAFA Archaelogy Education Survey

Have you filled up the SEAMEO SPAFA Survey on Archaeology Education in Southeast Asia yet? If you’ve been putting it off, you have only a few days left to get your opinions in.

SEAMEO SPAFA Archaelogy Education Survey

SEAMEO SPAFA Archaelogy Education Survey

This survey is part of my work for SEAMEO SPAFA, and we are looking to understand how and where archaeology is taught in the region, what kinds of skills training is needed, and where do students go after they get their degree. This is the first time a study of this kind has ever been undertaken in the region. So far we have received over 300 responses from Southeast Asia and beyond, and the survey will close on December 5 so if you haven’t taken it, please help me out and fill it up!

TAKE THE SURVEY HERE