Tracing an ancient gold trade trail in the Philippines using satellite imagery

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A just-published paper in JAS: Reports traces an ancient gold trading trail in northwestern Philippines using satellite imagery.

A Filipino archaeologist traces an ancient gold trading trail in the northwestern Luzon, thanks to state-of-the-art satellite imagery and image enhancement techniques

Source: Looking into the past through the eyes of the future
Paper: WorldView2 satellite imagery in remote sensing a past gold trading trail in Luzon: Testing ethnohistory-based and GIS-based models

Gold find near Angkor Borei sparks frenzy

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Frenzy over the discovery of a gold bead in Takeo. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20160606

Villagers embarked on a treasure hunt for gold when a bead was found in a rice field in Cambodia’s Takeo province. Authorities had to step in to protect the area, which had archaeological significance due to its proximity to Angkor Borei.

Frenzy over the discovery of a gold bead in Takeo. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20160606

Frenzy over the discovery of a gold bead in Takeo. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20160606

Chance find prompts small-scale gold rush in Takeo
Phnom Penh Post, 06 June 2016

Residents in Takeo province’s Angkor village have flocked to look for gold in a rice field behind the village after a villager tending cows found a gold bead, though authorities have cautioned against the gold rush, saying the area has archaeological significance.

Nob Dol, chief of Prek Phtorl commune, said a mass of villagers rushed to search for gold after the villager found the bead near a dike on his way home on Thursday.

“As I’ve heard, about seven people were lucky to find small beads of gold; some small, some big,” he said. “Some said they found up to [150 grams] of gold. There was also news that some found gold worth $1,000 to $2,000, but I did not see that.”

Officials from the provincial department of culture and fine arts went to the site and asked people to stop digging the field, Dol said. The owner of the rice field also sought help from authorities to halt the digging.

Full story here.

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Philippine gold exhibition opens in New York

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Gold vessel in the form of kinnari. Source: Asia Society 20150911

An exhibition of gold artefacts from the Philippines opened earlier this month at the Asia Society in New York. Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms will run until 3 January 2016.

Gold vessel in the form of kinnari. Source: Asia Society 20150911

Gold vessel in the form of kinnari. Source: Asia Society 20150911

Phillipines History to Shine at Asia Society Museum
Newsweek, 06 September 2015

Philippine Gold Glitters in the Big Apple
The Filipino Express, 07 September 2015

A Golden Discovery in the Philippines
Asia Society, 11 September 2015

When Filipino worker Berto Morales was digging on a government irrigation project in 1981, he literally struck gold. But what he found that day was worth more than its weight—he had uncovered evidence of a lost civilization.

On Friday, Asia Society New York unveiled its exhibition Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms, displaying more than 100 gold artifacts on loan from the Ayala Museum and the Central Bank of the Philippines in Manila. Most objects trace back to the Kingdom of Butuan — a still scarcely understood civilization centered on the island of Mindanao that rose to prominence in the 10th century before mysteriously declining in the 13th. But it took more than seven centuries for the objects to be found, and once they were, they wouldn’t be seen in the West for another several decades.

Gold has always factored into the history of the Philippines, a country still estimated to have as much as $1 trillion worth of untapped deposits beneath its surface. And despite what little is known about Butuan some aspects of its society clearly revolved around the precious metal.

Full story here, here and here.

Butuan gold pieces to go on display in New York from next month

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Ear ornaments from Butuan, from the Ayala Museum collection. Source: Philippine Inquirer 20150812

Ancient gold jewelry from the Ayala Museum collection will be exhibited for the first time in New York at the Asia Society from next month.

Ear ornaments from Butuan, from the Ayala Museum collection. Source: Philippine Inquirer 20150812

Ear ornaments from Butuan, from the Ayala Museum collection. Source: Philippine Inquirer 20150812

NY society to get a glimpse of Philippine pre-colonial gold
Philippine Inquirer, 12 August 2015

When the exhibit of gold artifacts from the Philippines opens at the Asia Society Museum in New York City next month, visitors will be astounded by the quality and intricacy of the pieces. The fact that they date from the 10th to the 13th centuries should be even more cause for amazement.

This is the first time that these pre-colonial gold objects, on loan from the collections of Ayala Museum and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), will be exhibited in the United States.

“Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms” opens Sept. 11 and will run until early January 2016.

Full story here.

Philippine Gold to go on display in New York

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By Jobers Bersales (Inquirer Philippines) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

A trove of Philippine gold from Butuan province, usually on display at the Ayala Museum in the Philippines, will be exhibited at the Asia Society in New York from this September to January next year. Having seen them before I must say the gold pieces are quite exquisite, but it is a pity there is very little contextual information to them.

By Jobers Bersales (Inquirer Philippines) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Jobers Bersales (Inquirer Philippines) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Ancient PH gold exhibit heads to New York
ABS-CBN News, 15 July 2015

About 120 gold artifacts mostly from the golden age of Butuan, a city in the Southern Philippines, will be on display at the Asia Society Museum in New York beginning September 11.

Ancient Filipinos in Kingdom of Butuan had a sophisticated culture with a fine taste for handcrafted gold items during the 10th and 11th centuries.

“The Filipinos, before they were called Filipino, were making beautiful, artistic, exquisite jewelry from gold. So it’s like King Tut of Egypt being discovered and coming to the Metropolitan Museum. Everybody went to see it. This is our King Tut,” said Community leader and philanthropist Loida Nicolas-Lewis.

Organizers of “Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms” were recently at the Philippine Consulate in New York to promote the exhibit.

“We are aiming for spectacular, not just a special this fall,” Tom Nagorski, executive vice president of Asia Society said.

Full story here.

Gold found in Phatthalung, sparking gold rush

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Gold found in Phatthalung Province. Source: Bangkok Post 20140529

The discovery of a hoard of gold has sparked a frenzy of digging by locals in Thailand’s Phatthalung province, with the Fine Arts Department trying to stem the rush in an effort to preserve archaeological material.

Gold found in Phatthalung Province. Source: Bangkok Post 20140529

Gold found in Phatthalung Province. Source: Bangkok Post 20140529

Golden treasure hoard found in Phatthalung
Bangkok Post, 29 May 2014

Locals asked to refrain from gold digging
The Nation, 29 May 2014

Fine Arts Department promises to compensate Phatthalung locals for gold artifacts
NNT, 29 May 2014

Police move in to halt ‘gold rush’ frenzy
Bangkok Post, 30 May 2014

More join hunt for gold at plantation
The Nation, 30 May 2014

Ban on Phatthalung gold rush
Bangkok Post, 31 May 2014
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