Majapahit house excavation suspended

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Excavations on a Majapahit-era house in East Java have suspended, pending further instructions from regional and national authorities. Archaeologists has thus far discovered Ming-era ceramics, pottery and tiles.

Excavation of a Majapahit-era house in Tegal Sari. Surabaya Post, 20110110

Majapahit Era Excavation House Retired
Surabaya Post, 10 January 2011
Translated by Google
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Ipad and archaeology


I’ve been warming up to the idea of an Ipad, particularly of being able to carry a small library of ebooks and pdf documents around for quick referencing. Now to tempt me even further, Apple has a minisite on how an archaeological team from the University of Cincinnati is using ipads to assist in excavations in Pompeii! Looks quite neat – has anyone started to use the ipad (successfully or unsuccessfully) in the field? Being no Apple user myself, I’ve got no idea how the FMTouch, iDraw and OmniGraffle apps work.

Excavations at Trowulan Information Centre ends

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The excavation at the site of the Majapahit Information Centre concluded last week, yielding the discovery of 150,000 fragments (?) and 60,000 Chinese coins (periods not specified). The haul of Chinese cash has been interpreted as th existence of trade and diplomatic relations between China and Majapahit, but I think it’s important to note that Chinese coinage is found just about everywhere in Southeast Asia – it could have been accepted as some sort of universal currrency, similar to how the US dollar is accepted in most parts of SEA today.

Ratusan Ribu Peninggalan Majapahit Ditemukan, 22 November 2009
Translation via Google Translate
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New structures unearthed at Bujang Valley

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The team Universiti Sains Malaysia excavating the protohistoric Bujang Valley complex have announced the discovery of new structures, as well as evidence for an as-yet-unidentified script. The circular foundation encircling a square base was pointed out by an earlier commenter here.

Cities of Gold II
photo credit: plassen

Need to rewrite history of Lembah Bujang
Universiti Sains Malaysia, 07 May 2009
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Indonesian excavation cut short

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An archaeological excavation in Punden Gadung Melati, East Java, has been cut short by the authorities, although no reason was given. The excavation has uncovered bricks and ceramics and large ceramic pieces, although I’m a bit doubtful about the mention of earthenware 10 by 10m in size.

Punden Excavation Terminated
Tempo Interaktif, 27 April 2009
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The illegal trade in ancient bronze drums

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06 August 2008 (Vietnam Net Bridge) – This piece of alarming news comes from the Dak Lak province, where Dong Son drums have been recently discovered, and how as many of 50 of them have been illegally excavated and smuggled out.

Vietnam Net Bridge, 06 Aug 2007

Many ancient bronze drums being illegally excavated

In the past four months, 50 bronze drums have been unearthed and transported illegally out Krong Nang district in Dak Lak province, said doctor Tran Quy Thinh from the Vietnam Archeological Institute.

Of these, the only one that is yet to be sold is at present being kept by Nguyen Thi Dieu from Xuan Vinh commune. Ms. Dieu has asked Dak Lak Museum for VND100million (US$6,000) for the ancient drum.

The drum, which was discovered in Ms. Dieu’s garden, is a Dong Son Drum Type 1, which dates back 2,200 years. The surface’s diameter is 65 cm, and the diameter of the bottom is 67 cm.

This is considered the most intact of all the ancient bronze drums that have been discovered in the Central Highlands of Dak Lak so far. Archeologists have recently restored another smaller Type 1 bronze drum found in the district of Krong Pack, where other 3,000-year-old artifacts have also been discovered.

More information about Dong Son drums can be found in:
The Bronze Age of Southeast Asia (Cambridge World Archaeology) by C. Higham
Dong Son Drums in Viet Nam
– Bronze Dong Son Drums by Ha Thuc Can