Hanoi’s ancient citadel unearthed during car park construction

The citadel was uncovered in 2003 but some work has already advanced in setting concrete in the area.

27 May 2006 (Thanh Nien Daily) – Not so breaking news after all. The citadel was uncovered in 2003 but some work has already advanced in setting concrete in the area.

Hanoi’s ancient citadel unearthed during car park construction

The project management unit in charge of building the new parliament house decided this week to halt construction of a new car park after unwittingly uncovering remnants of Hanoi’s 1000-year-old citadel.

After conducting a thorough archeological search of the site, researchers discovered layers of structures built on top of each other and millions of artifacts dating back to the 7th century that detailed long-lost history of the ancient capital.

Cirebon Sultanate bids to help research

26 May 2006 (Jakarta Post)

Sultanate bids to help research

The Cirebon Kasepuhan sultanate has urged the central government to allow scientists to study various treasures and historical artifacts, including those found on a 10th century wooden vessel that sunk in the waters off Cirebon.

Police seize long lost Islamic treasures of the Java Sea

22 May 2006 (The Telegraph) –

Police seize long lost Islamic treasures of the Java Sea

Unique historical treasures worth tens of millions of pounds were yesterday gathering dust in store rooms in Jakarta after being impounded by police.

The 250,000 pieces of Chinese ceramics and Arabic and Persian glassware were recovered from a 1,000-year-old wreck in the Java Sea off Indonesia. Found with them were 13,000 Indian pearls, jewellery, about 1,000 rubies and sapphires and several gold pieces.


Related Books
Shipwrecks and Sunken Treasure in Southeast Asia by T. Wells

Cradle of the ancient Viet civilisation

Vietnamese archaeologists find more evidence of a pre-Dong Son culture.

21 May 2006 (Viet Nam News) – Vietnamese archaeologists find more evidence of a pre-Dong Son culture.

Cradle of the ancient Viet civilisation

Archaeologists believe that excavations of Den Citadel, said to date back more than 3,000 years, will provide evidence to support their theory about the evolution of the Van Lang kingdom.

Archaeologists have found bronze arrows, javelins, needles, earings, fishing hooks, and axes from the Dong Dau era as well as an ancient bronze kiln that was made of sandstone and terracotta with many tools. Artifacts found after four excavations have led archaeologists to the conclusion that the Den Citadel was a bronze tools production factory in the continental Southeast Asia. At this site, the number of relics found on 1sq.m is higher than in any other pre-historic excavation site in Viet Nam.


Related Books
The Archaeology of Mainland Southeast Asia: From 10,000 B.C. to the Fall of Angkor by C. Higham
Southeast Asia: From Prehistory to History by I. Glover
The Bronze Age of Southeast Asia (Cambridge World Archaeology) by C. Higham

The origins of Asian rice

A study tracing the origins of Asian wild rice and rice cultivation has determined that rice was likely to be domesticated in East India-Myanmar-Thailand (Orzya sativa indica) and Southeren China (Orzya sativa japonica).

9 June 2006 (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) – A study tracing the origins of Asian wild rice and rice cultivation has determined that rice was likely to be domesticated in East India-Myanmar-Thailand (Orzya sativa indica) and Southeren China (Orzya sativa japonica). Abstract is cited here, full text requires subscription.

Phylogeography of Asian wild rice, Oryza rufipogon, reveals multiple independent domestications of cultivated rice, Oryza sativa
Jason P. Londo, Yu-Chung Chiang, Kuo-Hsiang Hung, Tzen-Yuh Chiang, and Barbara A. Schaal

Cultivated rice, Oryza sativa L., represents the world’s most important staple food crop, feeding more than half of the human population. Despite this essential role in world agriculture, the history of cultivated rice’s domestication from its wild ancestor, Oryza rufipogon, remains unclear. In this study, DNA sequence variation in three gene regions is examined in a phylogeographic approach to investigate the domestication of cultivated rice. Results indicate that India and Indochina may represent the ancestral center of diversity for O. rufipogon. Additionally, the data suggest that cultivated rice was domesticated at least twice from different O. rufipogon populations and that the products of these two independent domestication events are the two major rice varieties, Oryza sativa indica and Oryza sativa japonica. Based on this geographical analysis, O. sativa indica was domesticated within a region south of the Himalaya mountain range, likely eastern India, Myanmar, and Thailand, whereas O. sativa japonica was domesticated from wild rice in southern China.

Bentara Budaya hosts keris lovers

19 June 2006 (Jakarta Post) – I had not known that the Keris has been declared a world heritage item.

Bentara Budaya hosts keris lovers

More than 500 krises, or kerises as they are locally known, are on display at the Bentara Budaya Jakarta until June 23.

The 10-day exhibition showcases traditional daggers up to 500 years old from a number of private collectors across the country. It also features the work of modern kris makers, or empu, such as Sukamdi, Subandi, Yanto and Yantono.


Related Books
Art of Indonesia Pusaka by J. Miksic

Unearth facts on Sabah: CM

Archaeological potential in Sabah?

19 May 2006 (Daily Express) – Archaeological potential in Sabah?

Unearth facts on Sabah: CM

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman urged researchers and historians to conduct more studies and research to unearth as many facts as possible on the early history of Borneo, particularly Sabah.

Musa was made to understand that the UMS History Programme had been doing research related to the Sabah and Sarawak history resulting in many new findings being made.

Among them were the existences of the Marudu ancient government, Sharif Rum Sharif Osman rule, Raja Tua Brunei, early maritime trade in northern Sabah and findings of several thousand year old settlements.


Related Books:
Early Kingdoms of the Indonesian Archipelago and the Malay Peninsula by P. M. Munoz
Sabah’s Heritage: A Brief Introduction to Sabaih’s History and Heritage
The Prehistory of Sabah by T. Harrison and B. Harrison

After 500 years, sheer chance reunites head and body of Hindu statue in Paris

19 May 2006 (The Independent)

After 500 years, sheer chance reunites head and body of Hindu statue in Paris

A wife of the Hindu god Shiva, decapitated in Cambodia in the 15th century, finally has her head back, after it was discovered 500 years later on the other side of the world.

A Paris museum dedicated to Asia, the Musée Guimet, is celebrating the implausible chain of events that reunited a divided masterpiece of ninth-century Cambodian art.


Related Books
Apsarases at Angkor Wat, in Indian context by K. M. Srivastava

Hobbit theory under fire

The theory of the Hobbit man, or Homo floresiensis is under debate now as primatologist Robert Martin questions if this is not a new species, but instead a modern human suffering from microcephaly which results in small body and brain size.

19 May 2006 (Science, but also in too many other media) – The theory of the Hobbit man, or Homo floresiensis is under debate now as primatologist Robert Martin questions if this is not a new species, but instead a modern human suffering from microcephaly which results in small body and brain size. The actual article from Science is very technical:

Response to Comment on “The Brain of LB1, Homo floresiensis

Martin et al. claim that they have two endocasts from microcephalics that appear similar to that of LB1, Homo floresiensis. However, the line drawings they present as evidence lack details about the transverse sinuses, cerebellum, and cerebral poles. Comparative measurements, actual photographs, and sketches that identify key features are needed to draw meaningful conclusions about Martin et al.’s assertions.

Da Lat hosts Central Highland cultural heritage display

18 May 2006 (Thanh Nien Daily)

Da Lat hosts Central Highland cultural heritage display

An exhibition of cultural artifacts of Vietnam’s Central Highlands region opened Thursday in the resort town of Da Lat in Lam Dong province.

On display are also a Dong Son bronze drum unearthed in Dak Lak province, and artifacts excavated at the archaeological sites of Cat Tien in Lam Dong, Bien Ho in Gia Lai, and Lung Leng in Kon Tum.

Related Books:
Bronze Dong Son Drums by Ha Thuc Can
Van Hoa Dong Son / Dong Son Culture – Its Unity and Diversity by Pham Minh Huyen
Vietnamese art and archaeology by O. R. T. Janse