Angkor image slideshow from NASA

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has a slideshow of radar, satellite and computer-generated images of Angkor. These were the images released in conjunction with last month’s discovery of the ancient’s city massive spawl.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has a slideshow of radar, satellite and computer-generated images of Angkor. These were the images released in conjunction with last month’s discovery of the ancient’s city massive spawl.


Books about Angkor:
Angkor Cities and Temples by C. Jaques
Ancient Angkor (River Book Guides) by C. Jaques
Angkor and the Khmer Civilization (Ancient Peoples and Places) by M. D. Coe
Angkor: Cambodia’s Wondrous Khmer Temples, Fifth Edition by D. Rooney and P. Danford
Angkor: A Tour of the Monuments by T. Zephir and L. Invernizzi
The Civilization of Angkor by C. Higham
The Site of Angkor by J. Dumarcay
Indochina by B. P. Groslier

Borobudur threatened by climate change

06 September 2007 (Reuters) – If you think Angkor falling victim to climate change was bad enough, today Reuters carries a story about how Borobudur is falling victim to the crazy weather as well. Reduce! Reuse! Recycle!



creative commons photo by elbisreverri

Global warming threatens Indonesia’s Borobudur temple
By Sugita Katyal and Adhityani Arga

Like any historical monument, Indonesia’s magnificent Borobudur temple in central Java has suffered the ravages of time.

But now conservationists fear the world’s biggest Buddhist temple, topped with stupas and decorated with hundreds of reliefs depicting Buddhist thought and the life of Buddha, faces a new threat: climate change.

As global temperatures rise and rainfall patterns change, the dark stone temple, which dates from the 9th century, could deteriorate faster than normal, Marsis Sutopo, head of the Borobudur Heritage Conservation Institute, told Reuters.

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Groslier's thesis on Angkor's fall gains credence

50 years ago, French archaeologist Bernard-Philippe Groslier’s theorised that Angkor’s sudden abandonment was due to a massive failure in the city’s water management system. The theory was not widely accepted due to lack of empirical evidence, but the map of Angkor’s spawl that broke two weeks ago has made it timely to give Groslier’s theory another relook.

04 September 2007 (University of New South Wales) – 50 years ago, French archaeologist Bernard-Philippe Groslier’s theorised that Angkor’s sudden abandonment was due to a massive failure in the city’s water management system. The theory was not widely accepted due to lack of empirical evidence, but the map of Angkor’s spawl that broke two weeks ago has made it timely to give Groslier’s theory another relook.

Architects of Angkor’s downfall

The architects of Cambodia’s famed Angkor – the world’s most extensive medieval “hydraulic city” – unwittingly engineered its environmental collapse, says research by UNSW scientists and a team of international scholars.

This revelation, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, supports a disputed hypothesis by French archaeologist Bernard-Philippe Groslier, who 50 years ago suggested that the vast medieval settlement of Angkor was defined, sustained, and ultimately overwhelmed by over-exploitation and the environmental impacts of a complex water-management network.

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Wednesday Rojak #2

It’s time again for another edition of Rojak! – a mix of entries trawled from the web about archaeology and Southeast Asia. In this edition, we visit temples in Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia

It’s time again for another edition of Rojak! – a mix of entries trawled from the web about archaeology and Southeast Asia. In this edition, we visit temples in Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia:

  • Pigtales visits the Buddhist and Hindu complexes of Borobudur and Prambanan.
  • Zheng He has a blog?! Yes, if you wish to know more about the famous Chinese admiral whose explorations took him as far west as East Africa, you can read more about him on My Wonderful Travellings.
  • Thinking of visiting Thailand? You shouldn’t miss a trip to Ayuthuyya, the old kingdom of Siam. You can find a detailed map of the Ayutthaya Historical Park here.
  • Adam Bryan-Brown posts a lenghty account about visiting the temples of Angkor entitled Marvellous Angkor.

Got a recommendation for the next Wednesday rojak? Email me!

In memoriam: Gale Sieveking 1925-2007

Gale Sieveking was an archaeologist who worked in Malaya from the 1950s and onwards. He is best known for his excavation of Gua Cha in Kelantan, where over 30 humain remains have been found, buried in two distinct time frames, the Hoabinhian and the Neolithic. This tribute was published in the Newsletter of the Society of Antiquarians in London. Special thanks to Dr Ian Glover for this bit of news.

Gale Sieveking was an archaeologist who worked in Malaya from the 1950s and onwards. He is best known for his excavation of Gua Cha in Kelantan, where over 30 humain remains have been found, buried in two distinct time frames, the Hoabinhian and the Neolithic. This tribute was published in the Newsletter of the Society of Antiquarians in London. Special thanks to Dr Ian Glover for this bit of news.

Memories of Gale Sieveking (1925–2007)

The call, in the last issue of Salon, for further reminiscences concerning our late Fellow Gale Sieveking produced a fruitful bounty of information. Since Gale played such an important part in the development of archaeology as a discipline and in our understanding of prehistory, these valuable insights into his life and work are worth recording in full.

Our Fellow Ann Sieveking has generously provided a copy of the address that she gave at her late husband’s funeral. We are also very grateful to our Fellows Juliet Clutton-Brock, Michael Thompson, Michael Kerney and Phil Harding for their accounts of the lasting impression that Gale made on them, and to Professor Rory Mortimore, now Head of Civil Engineering and Geology at the University of Brighton, who provides an account of Gale’s ability to build multi-disciplinary teams around the study of flints and prehistoric technology.

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Ancient tree trunk coffin received at museum

An ancient tree-trunk coffin, found in the Quang Tri Province of Vietnam, is donated to the local museum. The coffin is said to be the material culture of either the Malayo-Polynesian people or the Mon-Khmers who operated in the area 700 years ago.

04 september 2007 (Vietnam Net Bridge) – An ancient tree-trunk coffin, found in the Quang Tri Province of Vietnam, is donated to the local museum. The coffin is said to be the material culture of either the Malayo-Polynesian people or the Mon-Khmers who operated in the area 700 years ago.

Vietnam Net Bridge, 4 Sep 2007

700-year-old tree coffin discovered in Quang Tri

The Quang Tri Museum has recently received an ancient coffin made from a tree trunk, according to the museum’s director, Mai Truong Manh.

The coffin was discovered on August 28 in Trung Chi village, Dong Luong ward, Dong Ha commune at 1.2 m underground when local residents were digging for the construction of an electricity post.

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SEAArch on Facebook

I’ve been toying with a starting a Facebook group for a while now, and so now is as good a time as another. I hope to make the Facebook site a meeting place for anyone interested in the archaeology of Southeast Asia to interact, discuss, and even share photos and videos. If you’re on Facebook, get in on the action and join the Southeast Asian Archaeology group!

It’s been a slow news day… so I decided to put SEAArch on Facebook!

SEAArch on Facebook

Facebook is the new social networking website that seems to have taken the internet by storm. I’ve been toying with a starting a Facebook group for a while now, and so now is as good a time as another. I hope to make the Facebook site a meeting place for anyone interested in the archaeology of Southeast Asia to interact, discuss, and even share photos and videos. If you’re on Facebook, get in on the action and join the Southeast Asian Archaeology group.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=10760920401

Living Angkor Road Project

The Living Angkor Road Project is an example of how the web can help make the work of archaeology more accessible to public. I’ve previously posted a mention about the Living Angkor Road Project, a collaboration between Thailand and Cambodia to identify a royal road connecting Phimai and Angkor. The project has a homepage online, a wiki in fact, detailing the objectives and outline of the research.

The Living Angkor Road Project is an example of how the web can help make the work of archaeology more accessible to public. I’ve previously posted a mention about the Living Angkor Road Project, a collaboration between Thailand and Cambodia to identify a royal road connecting Phimai and Angkor. The project has a homepage online, a wiki in fact, detailing the objectives and outline of the research.

Living Angkor Road Project

Besides a detailed research rationale and methodology outline, the wiki also has a few photo galleries for you to check out the sights along the way. The photographs are written labelled in Thai, I think.

It’s promising to see research projects like these, especially from Southeast Asia, go up online because they immediately open a world of information to the public. Hopefully in the next decade we’ll see more and more research project pages go online. I’ll file this link in the links/resources section as well.

Adventures in Angkor – Siem Reap

I missed last week’s installment of Adventures at Angkor… oops! This last installment isn’t so much on Angkor, but on the modern town of Siem Reap, which is where you’d want to go if you want to visit the temples. It’s a small, bustling town – bustling from the massive tourist boom it has experienced since the late 1990s, and even in the off-peak tourist season the town still hums with excitement.

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The mystery at Cat Tien

Viet Nam News posts a feature about the Cat Tien archaeological site exhibition currently going on in Vietnam. The site, discovered in 1985, has revealed a number of structures and Hindu statuary which may imply that it was a seat of a civilisation that could have shared influences with many neighbouring civilisations. We’ve already seen pictures of the stone linga-yoni in previous posts – this feature has statues of Uma and Ganesha.

30 August 2007 (Viet Nam News) – Viet Nam News posts a feature about the Cat Tien archaeological site exhibition currently going on in Vietnam. The site, discovered in 1985, has revealed a number of structures and Hindu statuary which may imply that it was a seat of a civilisation that could have shared influences with many neighbouring civilisations. We’ve already seen pictures of the stone linga-yoni in previous posts – this feature has statues of Uma and Ganesha.

Viet Nam News 30 Aug 2007

Relics tell story of medieval-era Central Highlands civilisation

Why not visit the National Museum of Vietnamese History to explore and enjoy a unique collection of antiques from the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) province of Lam Dong’s Cat Tien’s archaeological excavations?

The exhibition entitled Objects from Cat Tien – The Imprint of a Mysterious Holy Land features 300 examples selected from thousands of artefacts from the Lam Dong Provincial Museum.

The Cat Tien site was discovered unexpectedly in the National Cat Tien Park in 1985. After eight cycles of excavation, archaeologists have found many structures influenced by Indian civilisation similar to the Cham towers in My Son Heritage Site in the central Quang Nam Province.

Continue reading “The mystery at Cat Tien”