LiDAR talk in Bangkok

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Another talk for readers in Bangkok – this one by Damian Evans on LiDAR in Angkor.

Using Airborne Laser Scanning to Uncover, Map and Analyse Ancient Landscapes in Cambodia & Beyond
A Talk by Dr. Damian Evans
Date: Thursday, 4 February 2016
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Venue: The Siam Society

Traditionally, scholarship on the Angkor period has focussed on three main areas: architecture, inscriptions and art history. In recent years however there has been increasing interest in the human and environmental context of the temples, and archaeologists are beginning to understand much more about the urban and
agricultural networks that stretched between and also far beyond the well-known monuments of places like Angkor. Even though the cities that surrounded the temples were made of wood, and the water management systems were mostly made of earth, we can still very clearly see and map the traces that remain on the surface of the landscape using remote sensing techniques such as aerial photos and satellite imagery. Until recently, however, archaeologists who focussed on the mapping methods faced one very serious limitation: the fact that vegetation covers much of the areas of interest, and limits our ability to see and map these ancient features. Since 2012 however archaeologists in Cambodia have been using the technique of airborne laser scanning or “lidar”, which has the unique ability to “see through” vegetation and map archaeological remains, even underneath thick forest or jungle. This presentation will outline past, present and future projects involving lidar, including presenting some preliminary results from the latest lidar campaign in 2015, which increased coverage from Angkor to include a wide array of sites across Cambodia, and discuss potential applications in other countries in Southeast Asia including Thailand.

Lecture: Life of the Buddha in the oldest Thai illustrated manuscripts

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Readers in Bangkok may be interested in this lecture happening this evening at the Jim Thompson House.


Life of the Buddha in the oldest Thai illustrated manuscripts
A lecture by Professor Baas Terwiel.
Date: Wednesday, 3 February 2016
Time: 5 – 7 p.m.
Venu: Ayara Hall, The Jim Thompson House Museum Compound

The legends surrounding the life of Siddhartha Gotama, also known as the Buddha, have inspired an immense artistic output in all Buddhist countries. In this lecture Professor Terwiel will focus on depictions on paper folding books from Thailand, in particular material from the oldest preserved Thai picture books:samutphap traiphum (สมุดภาพ ไตรภูมิ), or the Picture Books of the Three Worlds. He will look at how the major events of the Buddha’s life were thematized, and he will also address matters of style. Then he will tentatively formulate some principles of Thai iconography and characteristics of the Thai visual arts in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries A.D.

Professor Terwiel will conduct his lecture in English.”, but a Thai translation will be handed out.

Prior to his retirement in 2006, Baas Terwiel was Professor of Thai and Lao Languages and Literatures at the University of Hamburg, having previously taught in Canberra, Munich and Leiden. In the late 1960s, he conducted fieldwork on Buddhism in rural Thailand and, since then, has published extensively on many aspects of Thai history, religion and politics. His publications included Monks And Magic. An Analysis of Religious Ceremonies in Central Thailand (1976), reprinted for the fourth time in 2012, Thailand’s Political History. From the 13th Century to Recent Times (2011) “Siam”. Ten Ways to look at Thailand’s Past (2012)

Lecture: Angkor Wat: Unravelling the Oracle of Stone

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From the Asia Research Institute, a lecture by A/P Dinah Roma Sianturi about travel writing and Angkor Wat.

Name of Event : Cultural Studies Informal Seminar Series

Sypnosis : Peter Bishop in “The Myth of Shangri-la” (1989) argues that it is travel writing that makes the place. As a potent tool of circulating images and perceptions, the travel writing genre, long known as an imperial discursive tool, has played a significant part in textualizing sacred sites. The process of “construction” shifts as it reflects vacillating political configurations. Even notions of thresholds, liminality, boundary, frontier, the sacred and the profane—descriptors for sacred sites—can all be functions of geopolitical investments.

Such argument holds true for many of the sacred sites in Southeast Asia—a quintessential example of which is Angkor Wat. With voluminous writings ranging from the colonial era, the sacred complex has been an inspiration for archaeologists, ethnographers, geographers, and, most especially, travel writers. The so called “hermeneutic circle” within which the travel writing genre is circumscribed allow writers to refer to earlier texts for inspiration, guidance, and information.

Recent developments in travel theory discussed in “Postcolonial Travel Writing” (2011) posit how texts can interrogate each other to show the continuities and discontinuities by which a place has been textualized. This paper inquires into the thread of these interrogations by looking at selected travel writings on Angkor Wat. By doing so, the varied investments in it by individuals and institutions can be charted for its evolution from being a place, monument, reconciliation symbol, tourism icon, aspiration, and nation—individually and all at the same time.

Speaker : Dinah Roma Sianturi

Public Lecture: Pots and How They are Made in Southeast Asia

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Readers in Singapore may be interested in this talk about ceramics production in Mainland SEA by Louise Cort and Leedom Lefferts. Click on the image to download the flyer (pdf). No registration is required.

Pots and how they are made in mainland Southeast Asia
Louise Allison Cort and Leedom Lefferts
Friday, 17 February 2012, 7 to 8.30pm
Ngee Ann Auditorium, Asian Civilisations Museum

7 Lectures from iTunes U on Southeast Asian Archaeology


Last week, Apple announced a revamped iBooks and iTunes U service aimed at bringing textbooks and course materials to the iPad. There’s a fair buzz in the education circles, but how much content is there relating to the archaeology of Southeast Asia?

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Public Lecture: Burmese Palaces and Sacred Sites

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For readers in Thailand, Silpakorn University will be hosting a special lecture/seminar next Sunday on sites in Burma. The event is limited to 100 guests, so please register early to avoid disappointment!

Burmese Palaces and Sacred Sites
Venue: Faculty of Decorative Art, Room 3104 (Basement), Silpakorn University (Tha Phra Campus)
Date: Sunday 30th January 2011, 9.00am – 4.00pm

Limited to 100 guests, to reserve a seat contact:
e-mail: Dr.Chedha Tingsanjali
Phone: Mr.Worapong Apinanthavej +66870097428

Earl of Cranbrook delivers lecture on Borneo zooarchaeology at UBD

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Zoologist and environmental biologist the Earl of Cranbrook recently delivered a lecture to students at Universiti Brunei Darussalam. Lord Cranbrook was also on Borneo to present on the same topic at the recent Borneo archaeology seminar in Miri.

UBD Students Gain Insight On Zooarchaeology In Borneo, 03 November 2010
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Public Lecture (Singapore): Recent Advances in Understanding Pottery in Southeast Asian History

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Readers in Singapore may be interested in a public lecture by Dr John Miksic of the National University of Singapore on Southeast Asian Ceramics. For readers who might not be able to attend the lecture, you may want to purchase Dr Miksic’s latest book, Southeast Asian Ceramics.

Ceramics for the Archaeologist: Recent Advances in Understanding Pottery in Southeast Asian History
Venue: Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore
Date: 28 January 2010
Time: 7.30 – 8.30 pm