Sculpture of Angkor and Ancient Cambodia

The National Gallery of Art in Washington DC has a detailed virtual tour of their Sculpture of Angkor and Ancient Cambodia exhibition. Using VR technology, take a walk through the galleries and click on specific artefacts to get a closer look. You can’t get a really close look, but it’s a good tour to take in the lunchtime.

Although exhibited nine years ago (1997), the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC has a detailed virtual tour of their Sculpture of Angkor and Ancient Cambodia exhibition. Using VR technology, take a walk through the galleries and click on specific artefacts to get a closer look. You can’t get a really close look, but it’s a good tour to take in the lunchtime.

Related Books:
Apsarases at Angkor Wat, in Indian context by K. M. Srivastava
Khmer Sculpture and the Angkor Civilization by M. Giteau

Excavations at Palmer Road / Wang Hai Da Bo Gong Temple

The Palmer Road excavation was something I was involved in earlier this year and the site report can be downloaded from the www.seaarchaeology.com.

I was alerted to this from yesterday.sg – The Palmer Road excavation was something I was involved in earlier this year and the site report can be downloaded from the www.seaarchaeology.com. (See if you can find the unglamourous shot of me scooping water out of the flooded pit and my name in the field crew list!)

The present site of Foot Tet Soo Khek Temple on Palmer Road, sits at the foot of remnants of Mount Palmer where a former colonial military fortification (Fort Palmer c.1859-1915) was once sited. The temple is believed to be one of the earliest Chinese immigrant temples established in Singapore and is certainly the oldest Hakka institution on the island. Unverified anecdotal accounts claim the temple to pre-date the arrival of Raffles. The existing structure dates back to the mid 19th century, and the earliest known record of the temple was depicted in a 1844 map as a “Joss House”.

Two WWII 'human torpedoes' believed to be lying off Phuket

Possible WWII British manned torpedoes to be investigated in Phuket.

6 May 2006 (The Nation) – Possible WWII British manned torpedoes to be investigated in Phuket.

Two WWII ‘human torpedoes’ believed to be lying off Phuket

A Phuket marine-supply company is seeking permission to salvage what it believes are two British “human torpedoes” that have been lying in the sea near Phuket since World War II, the governor of Phuket said yesterday.

Manned torpedoes were secret naval weapons commissioned during World War II.

The British versions were electrically propelled mini-submarines with two crewmen equipped with diving suits riding astride.

Ethnic use of Chinese jars

Feature on the “Odyssey: From China to the Ulu” at the Sarawak Museum.

13 April 2006 (The Star) – Feature on the “Odyssey: From China to the Ulu” at the Sarawak Museum.

Ethnic use of Chinese jars

The exhibition, “Ceramic Odyssey: From China to the Ulu” features nearly 100 pieces of Chinese ceramics from the museum’s extensive collection in a thematic display based on their uses by various local communities.

A traditional death ritual of the Melanau was placing blue and white Qing plates under the head, shoulders, feet and hands of the deceased.

Vietbooks announces 10 more records in Vietnamese Buddhism

A listing of 10 Vietnamese Buddhist treasures that have been recognised to mark the 2550th birthday celebration of Lord Buddha.

5 May 2006 (Thanh Nien Daily) – A listing of 10 Vietnamese Buddhist treasures that have been recognised to mark the 2550th birthday celebration of Lord Buddha.

Vietbooks announces 10 more records in Vietnamese Buddhism

The Vietnam Guinness Book Center (Vietbooks) has recognized ten more records of Vietnamese Buddhism, most of which have a cultural aspect and a lengthy history.

1. The most ancient pagoda
2. The pagoda with the most distinguished architecture
3. The pagoda storing the greatest number of artistic Buddhist statues
4. The largest Buddha stone statue built under the Ly Dynasty
5. The largest thousand-handed and thousand-eyed Guanyin wooden statue
6. The oldest thousand-handed and thousand-eyed Guanyin
7. The tallest and heaviest Sakyamuni Buddha bronze statue
8. The largest bell
9. The oldest bell
10. The largest Nhu Y ball


Related Books:
Hindu-Buddhist Art Of Vietnam: Treasures From Champa by E. Guillon

Angkor temple reopens to public

A section of the Baphuon at Angkor has been re-opened to public following restoration.

5 May 2006 (BBC News) – A section of the Baphuon at Angkor has been re-opened to public following restoration.

Angkor temple reopens to public

Archaeologists in Cambodia have completed the first part of what has been called the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle.

The Baphuon, one of the largest and oldest temples at the world-famous Angkor complex, has been in hundreds of thousands of pieces for decades.


Related Books:
Ancient Angkor (River Book Guides) by C. Jaques
Angkor Cities and Temples by C. Jaques
Angkor: A Tour of the Monuments by T. Zephir and L. Invernizzi
Angkor: Cambodia’s Wondrous Khmer Temples, Fifth Edition (Odyssey Illustrated Guide) by D. Rooney

Maritime Asia

Maritime Asia is a very detailed site about the ongoing Maritime Archaeology Malaysia exhibition at the Muzium Negara. It features the finds of 7 shipwrecks located off the coasts of Malaysia and detailed information about each of the ships finds, ceramics and maritime archaeology.

Maritime Asia is a very detailed site about the ongoing Maritime Archaeology Malaysia exhibition at the Muzium Negara. It features the finds of 7 shipwrecks located off the coasts of Malaysia and detailed information about each of the ships finds, ceramics and maritime archaeology. I managed to catch the exhibition earlier in January this year and I must admit that it is an incredible exhibition with a good deal of 14 to 18 c. material culture.

Rumors cause collectors to raid archaeological site

Looting of antiquities in Vietnam.

3 May 2006 (Thanh Nien News) – Looting of antiquities in Vietnam.

Rumors cause collectors to raid archaeological site

Over the past two months, hundreds of people in Nghia Hoa commune, Nghia Dan district made their way to Dong Hieu rubber tree plantation located in Lang Vac (Vac Village) to hunt for antiques.

The wave of collectors began after a rumor that a person found a pair of ancient elephant statues there and sold them in Hanoi for hundreds of millions of dong (one US dollar is worth just under VND16,000).

Since then local residents have flocked to the archaeological site, which the Ministry of Culture and Information recognized as a national heritage in 1999, to dig for antiques in search of fast cash…

Hai also said many residents had found antiques, usually bronze products in shapes of deer, hippopotamuses, and wild-bulls, stone bracelets, pottery, iron swords, axes, and small bronze drums.

Related Books:
The Bronze Age of Southeast Asia (Cambridge World Archaeology) by C. Higham
Bronze Dong Son Drums by Ha Thuc Can
Van Hoa Dong Son / Dong Son Culture – Its Unity and Diversity by Pham Minh Huyen

Cultural and historical treasure trove

Merbok, Kedah preparing for development as a cultural heritage and eco-tourism centre.

3 May 2006 (The Star) – Merbok, Kedah preparing for development as a cultural heritage and eco-tourism centre.

Cultural and historical treasure trove

MERBOK in Kedah with the largest mangrove forest in the country and a river that flows into the Straits of Malacca is a centre of ecological treasure…

Bujang Valley containing ruins of Hindu and Buddhist temples in Merbok lends a historical importance.

It used to be an important trading centre centuries ago.

Related Books
Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol. XXVIII, Pt. 1
Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic society, Vol. XLIII, Part 1

Must Looted Relics be Ignored?

Not SEA Archaeology, but a broad issue that bears some highlighting. In this part of the world, little has been set up in the protection of artefacts from looting. Most SEA countries don’t even have sufficent legislation to deal with archaeological finds.

2 May 2006 (New York Times) – Not SEA Archaeology, but a broad issue that bears some highlighting. In this part of the world, little has been set up in the protection of artefacts from looting. Most SEA countries don’t even have sufficient legislation to deal with archaeological finds.

Must Looted Relics be Ignored?

Inscribed on Sumerian clay tablets more than 4,000 years ago, the Code of Ur-Nammu may be the earliest known recorded set of laws in the world: dozens of rules written in cuneiform about commerce and taxes, family law and inheritance.

But many scholars won’t go near the one largely intact version of the code, and the top American journal of cuneiform research won’t publish articles about it. The reason? The tablet was bought by a private Norwegian collector on the open market and does not come from a documented, scientific excavation. According to the ethics policies of the leading associations for antiquities scholars, that means it is off limits.As scholars grapple with the reality that a growing number of important works — like the Ur-Nammu tablet and the recently unveiled Gospel of Judas — lack a clear provenance, those ethics policies are the focus of heated debate.

On one side are archaeologists and other experts who say that most objects without a clear record of ownership or site of origin were looted, and that the publication of such material aggrandizes collectors and encourages the illicit trade. On the other side are those who argue that ignoring such works may be even more damaging to scholarship than the destruction caused by looting.