Meet the authors: The Zheng He Epic

For those of you in Singapore, an opportunity for you to meet the authors of The Zheng He Epic by Select Books:

Select warmly welcomes you to meet the authors of The Zheng He Epic
Drs. Tan Ta Sien &
Dr Chia Lin Sien (eds.)

.
6.30 pm, Friday, 22 September 2006 at Select Books

About the Book:
Zheng He Epic or Zheng He Si Shi (English version) is a massive, lavishly illustrated coffee-table book (366 pages) showing historical sites, artefacts, documents and painting/drawings of historical figures and scenes related to Zheng He. The Chinese version of the book was jointly published in May 2005 by Yunnan People’s Publishing Co., Yunnan Fine Arts Publishers and Aurora Publishing Co. and was supported by the International Zheng He Society and Drs Tan Ta Sen personally. The book traces the personal history and exploits of Zheng He and his ancestors, who were Muslims who had emigrated to China at least a century before the birth of Zheng He. His grandfather, Ma Haji, and father were both high-ranked officials of the Yuan Dynasty. There are details of his birthplace in Kunming (Yunnan) and Nanjing where he had served as a high official in the employ of Prince Yan who later ascended to become Emperor Yongle. Details of the fleets and shipyards are provided. This is followed by highly absorbing accounts of each of his seven voyages including his activities and contributions to countries that he had visited as well as the religious sites and relics that remain there as testament to Zheng He’s visits. There are also accounts of ceremonies devoted to Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea. A number of well-known Chinese scholars have also contributed to this volume essays that reflect a diversity of views.

About the Authors
Drs. Tan Ta Sen: Research Officer, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (1966-1968), Assistant Professor and Head, Southeast Asian Studies Programme, Nanyang University (1969-1978). Since 2002, Director, Cheng Ho Cultural Museum and President, International Zheng He Society.

Dr Chia Lin Sien, formerly Associate Professor, National University of Singapore; Academic Advisor, Singapore Chinese Chamber Institute of Business (SCCIOB) and currently, Project Director, StarG3 Technologies Pte Ltd.

Select Books Pte Ltd

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Singapore 247909

Tel: 6732-1515

Email: info@selectbooks.com.sg


Related Books:
Zheng He by M. Yamashita
Zheng He: China and the Oceans in the Early Ming Dynasty, 1405-1433 by E. L. Dreyer and P. N. Stearns
When China Ruled the Seas: The Treasure Fleet of the Dragon Throne, 1405-1433 by L. Levathes

Angkor temples a dog-free zone

For the convenience of tourists, Angkor Wat is now a dog free zone! But, to be fair, the Cambodian government have also acknowledged that the site is a religious temple and the last I checked, the bringing of pets to any religious site is frowned upon in any culture.

18 September 2006 (Independent Online) – Maybe I should an include a ‘bizarre and quirky’ tag. For the convenience of tourists, Angkor Wat is now a dog free zone! But, to be fair, the Cambodian government have also acknowledged that the site is a religious temple and the last I checked, the bringing of pets to any religious site is frowned upon in any culture.

Angkor temples a dog-free zone

Cambodian police have banned dogs from the kingdom’s Angkor Wat complex in a bid to give tourists visiting the famed temples an excrement-free experience, an official said Monday.

Dogs are not good for the places of worship, police official Tan Chay said, adding that the animals’ presence insulted the spirits of the dead.

“Angkor Wat was built by our previous kings and ancestors for worship, so bringing dogs into the temples insults our ancestors’ work,” he said.

Angkor burdened with influx of visitors, job seekers

Another report on the unsustainability of Angkor because of its sharply rising tourist numbers; one million visitors a year is painful to the environment – but the projected tourist numbers is two million! The boost in tourism has also seen a spike in population numbers in Siem Reap from people seeking to cash in on the tourist boom, further adding strain to the environment.

16 September 2006 (Xinhua) – Another report on the unsustainability of Angkor because of its sharply rising tourist numbers; one million visitors a year is painful to the environment – but the projected tourist numbers is two million! The boost in tourism has also seen a spike in population numbers in Siem Reap from people seeking to cash in on the tourist boom, further adding strain to the environment. But tourism is an important part of the Cambodian economy.

Angkor burdened with influx of visitors, job seekers

The ancient Angkorian ruins face the danger of destruction as in the past years millions of visitors and job seekers rushed into Siem Reap, where the temples and the infrastructure were just unable to accommodate their overflowing admiration and aspiration, the Cambodian Daily reported here on Saturday.

“We don’t have enough infrastructure to welcome mass tourism. We are not ready. If one million come a year, the environment will be destroyed very quickly,” the paper quoted Tep Vattho as saying. She headed the development department of the Apsara Authority, which was entrusted by the government to manage the Angkor Archeological Park.

Tourism is Cambodia’s second largest foreign currency generator and Angkor contributes the lion’s share of the income.

Ancient money discovered in Quang Tri

A short news story on two cowry shell finds in the Bat Cave (no, not that one) in Quang Tri province. According to the article, cowry shells have been recognised as currency between 2,500 and 5,000 years ago.

15 Sep 2006 (VietNam Net Bridge) – A short news story on two cowry shell finds in the Bat Cave (no, not that one) in Quang Tri province. According to the article, cowry shells have been recognised as currency between 2,500 and 5,000 years ago.

VietNam Net Bridge, 15 Sep 2006

Ancient money discovered in Quang Tri

Archaeologists from the Viet Nam Institute of Archaeology and the Quang Tri Province Museum have unearthed two ancient cowry shells during an excavation at the Bat Cave in Quang Tri Province.

Shipwreck Artefacts For Sale At Aquaria

A marine archaeologist is retiring with a bang! Sten Sjostrand of Nanhai Marine Archaeology Sdn Bhd is having a sale of artefacts collected from nine shipwrecks over 35 years.

13 September 2006 (Bernama) – A marine archaeologist is retiring with a bang! Sten Sjostrand of Nanhai Marine Archaeology Sdn Bhd is having a sale of artefacts collected from nine shipwrecks over 35 years. Nanhai made the news a couple of months ago by recycling their ceramic finds as jewellery.

Shipwreck Artefacts For Sale At Aquaria

A large number artefacts recovered from nine historical shipwrecks off the coasts of Malaysia, spanning more than 1,000 years, will be on display and put up for sale at Aquaria, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here next month.

The month-long event starting from Oct 1, will offer for sale items such as urns, bowls, bronze gongs, plates, Ming blue and white china with dragon and phoenix motifs, gourd bottles, Qing blue and white porcelain from the famous kilns in Jingdezhen, and teapots from Jiangsu, China…

Sjostrand, who is passionate about his work, said he would not be a mere antique dealer at the sale and exhibition but also a marine archaeologist, a profession that was unheard of in the country before, giving guided tours to visitors to the exhibition.

The complimentary guided tours will be held at the multi-purpose hall of the Aquaria every Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm and 5pm.

Sjostrand, who hinted that the sale of the Chinese artefacts would probably be his last in this country before holding a small auction in China and then retiring in Bahamas, felt he had done his part to serve this country by giving on-site training to local museum personnel on marine archaeology throughout the years.


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

Filming Of Perak Man Documentary To Kick Off In November

A documentary on the Perak Man is in the works! – and expected to be out on HD no less, in Novemeber. The documentary will also feature other stone-age sites like Gua Cha and Tingkayu.

13 September 2006 (Bernama) – A documentary on the Perak Man is in the works! – and expected to be out on HD no less, in Novemeber. The documentary will also feature other stone-age sites like Gua Cha and Tingkayu.

Filming Of Perak Man Documentary To Kick Off In November

The filming of a documentary on the 11,000 year-old Perak Man, Peninsular Malaysia’s oldest inhabitant, will begin in November.

Novista Sdn Bhd managing director Harun Rahman said the company was in the final stage of discussions with the National Film Corporation (Finas) on the script and the filming of the documentary titled “Perak Man”, in High Definition TV.

The company had held talks with the Heritage Commissioner of the Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry, Prof Datuk Dr Zuraina Majid, who led the archaeological team that found the complete skeleton of the homo sapien, Harun told Bernama here.

Novista is a local documentary specialist established in 1992, which among others has been involved in natural history, culture, heritage and adventure videos.

It has been appointed by the Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry to do a documentary on the Perak Man as a move to preserve the national heritage of the country for the benefit of the future generations.

Ancient village found in Quang Ngai

A 400-600-year-old village has been found in Vietnam featuring the remains of 40 houses, a water purification system, and a possible temple. Finds include lime pots.

13 September 2006 (Vietnam Net Bridge) – A 400-600-year-old village has been found in Vietnam featuring the remains of 40 houses, a water purification system, and a possible temple. Finds include lime pots.

Vietnam Net Bridge, 13 Sep 2006

Old village found in Quang Ngai

Archaeologists from the Quang Ngai Province Museum have found the remnants of a walled village inhabited by Vietnamese people 400 to 600 years ago.

The village, named Thien Xuan after the hamlet where it is located, lies at the foot of Nua Mountain in Nghia Hanh District.

Traces of 40 houses are visible within the wall, which is one meter thick and varies in height from 2.5 to 3 meters. The scientists were surprised to find an absence of mortar between the carefully cut stones that make up the wall.

M'sia Advocates Asian Unesco To Designate Asian Heritage Cities

Malaysia is proposing the creation of a Asian version of UNESCO, but this push seems geared more towards promoting tourism, rather than heritage. The article mentions how a 110-metre rotating tower is planned for the historical city of Melaka…

12 Sep 2006 (Bernama) – Malaysia is proposing the creation of a Asian version of UNESCO, but this push seems geared more towards promoting tourism, rather than heritage. The article mentions how a 110-metre rotating tower is planned for the historical city of Melaka…

M’sia Advocates Asian Unesco To Designate Asian Heritage Cities

Malaysia will advocate that Asia has its own organisation similar to Unesco to designate heritage cities in the continent, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said Tuesday.

He said Unesco (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) had been recognising cities only in Europe and America under its Heritage Cities programme.

“We in Asia should have a body resembling Unesco, and it could be named the “Asian Cultural and Economic Body”, which will determine how China, the Philippines, Malaysia, India and other countries can obtain such recognition (for their cities),” he told reporters after opening the seventh Malay World, Islamic World (DMDI) convention at the Melaka International Trade Centre (MITC), here.

Rais said the Unesco symbol was used in the tourism business and claimed that many heritage cities with tourism potential had been denied the recognition.

Remains of 17th-century 'Japanese Bridge' in Vietnam found

12 Sep 2006 (Thanh Nien News)

Thanh Nien News, 12 Sep 2006

Remains of 17th-century ‘Japanese Bridge’ in Vietnam found

A team of Japanese and Vietnamese researchers has excavated remains of a 17th-century bridge believed built by Japanese settlers at the World Heritage site of Hoi An in central Vietnam, Kyodo reported…

The researchers from [tag]Showa Women’s University[/tag] in Tokyo and the [tag]Hanoi National University[/tag] found clayware and carbonized wooden pegs that appear to have supported bridge columns.

These were dug out from a 17th-century geological layer at a depth of 2.2 meters below a road at the foot of the bridge.

Some Parties Are Claiming Artefacts- Rais

A follow up to the seizure of artefacts in September 2005, parties like the Museum of the Philippines are seeking the return of artefacts in the haul which the museum claims it owns.

12 Sep 2006 (Bernama) – A follow up to the seizure of artefacts in September 2005, parties like the Museum of the Philippines are seeking the return of artefacts in the haul which the museum claims it owns.

Some Parties Are Claiming Artefacts- Rais

Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage Datuk Seri Dr [tag]Rais Yatim[/tag] said several parties claimed that the more than 400 artefacts and historical items found in various containers seized at the Port Klang in September 2005 were theirs and should be returned to them.

“Their excuses are they have proof of contract between Philip Greco, an American who has permanent resident status in the country through the ‘Malaysia My Second Home’ programme with parties which provided the financing.

“We will go through these claims from the legal aspects and if their claims are genuine, we can give some estimates and allow several artefacts worth RM2.2 million to be claimed,” he told reporters when commenting on the latest development on the artefacts and historical items.

Rais described the situation as a “mystery” when Greco succeeded in bringing in the artefacts by declaring them as household items worth RM7,600 although the real value of these treasures ran into millions of ringgit.