Over 400 Bornean ethnographic artifacts in Holland to come home soon

via Borneo Post, 25 November 2017:

KUCHING: More than 400 Bornean ethnographic artifacts will be returned to Sarawak Museum from a museum in the City of Delft in the Netherlands. The artifacts were symbolically handed over by Delft …

Source: Over 400 Bornean ethnographic artifacts in Holland to come home soon

Sarawak Museum to close for two and a half years for conservation works

via Borneo Post, 21 September 2017

KUCHING: The Sarawak Museum will be temporarily closed from Oct 23 onwards for a period of two and a half years. Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the temporary closure was …

Source: Sarawak Museum to close for two and a half years for conservation works – BorneoPost Online | Borneo , Malaysia, Sarawak Daily News | Largest English Daily In Borneo

Central Borneo sites mapped and investigated

Dr Lindsay Lloyd-Smith recently gave a talk at the Sarawak Museum on the ongoing work of the Central Borneo Project, focused on the Kelabit Highlands. Nick Gani, who gave me the heads up to this article, is also involved in the project and instrumental in coordinating archaeology education for undergraduate students at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak. Both Lindsay and Nick are personal friends of mine.

Dr Lindsay Lloyd-Smith speaking at the Sarawak Museum. Source: Borneo Post 20140825
Dr Lindsay Lloyd-Smith speaking at the Sarawak Museum. Source: Borneo Post 20140825

‘Need to locate undiscovered sites in Kelabit Highlands’
Borneo Post, 28 August 2014
Continue reading “Central Borneo sites mapped and investigated”

Australian researchers give talks at the Sarawak Museum

Two researchers from Australia were recently at the Sarawak Museum to give talks about the the rock art and human evolution in Southeast Asia. (Note: Paul Taçon is one of my supervisors)

Museum holds talk on human evolution, ancient art
Borneo Post, 09 November 2012
Continue reading “Australian researchers give talks at the Sarawak Museum”

Sarawak Museum to reacquire Niah Cave bones from US

The Sarawak Museum announced a plan to repatriate a set of bones from the Niah Cave that were placed in the custody of the University of Nevada, Los Vegas (the article writes Los Angeles?) in the 1960s.

Light Shining Through Niah Caves
photo credit: amanderson2

Sarawak Museum hopes to bring back Niah Caves relics from US
Borneo Post, 24 February 2012
Continue reading “Sarawak Museum to reacquire Niah Cave bones from US”

Sarawak Museum plans on preserving culture of native tribes

The Sarawak Museum reveals current projects to survey and study cultural aspects of the native tribes, such as the practice of erecting burial poles, and a joint study with Cambridge to study cultural sites in the Cultured Rainforest Project (note: the article misquotes it as the Cultural Rainforest Project).

Sebabai
photo credit: lok_lok05

Sarawak to preserve burial poles
The Star, 03 June 2009
Continue reading “Sarawak Museum plans on preserving culture of native tribes”

New history gallery at the Sarawak Museum

The newly-opened history gallery at the Sarawak Museum takes visitors to Sarawak’s past from the 7th century to today. I was particularly taken with the rock carving of the man on the boulder – whose name escapes me now.

Relics from the past at the Sarawak museum
The Star, 26 March 2009
Continue reading “New history gallery at the Sarawak Museum”

Neolithic Burials discovered in East Malaysia

The Sarawak Museum and Universiti Sains Malaysia recently announced their discovery of eight 3,000-year-old burials located near Miri in Sarawak.

Ancient Burial Site Discovered In Batu Niah
Bernama, 01 August 2008

Ancient burial site discovered in East Malaysia
Malaysia Sun, 04 August 2008
Continue reading “Neolithic Burials discovered in East Malaysia”

Caving in to the splendour of Niah

The Niah Caves are recognised as a World Heritage Site and is one of the oldest habitation sites in Southeast Asia, with evidence going as far back as 40,000 years ago. The Niah Caves also house some of the largest collections of rock art in Southeast Asia.

02 June 2007 (The Brunei Times) – Another travel piece on Malaysia, this time East Malaysia in the Niah Caves of Sarawak. The Niah Caves are recognised as a World Heritage Site and is one of the oldest habitation sites in Southeast Asia, with evidence going as far back as 40,000 years ago. The Niah Caves also house some of the largest collections of rock art in Southeast Asia.

Caving in to the splendour of Niah

Not only is Niah Cave one of the most significant archaeological locations in Southeast Asia, it’s also an important geological formation and home to important cave dwellers like swiftlets and bats. Archaeologists get excited at the mere mention of Niah Cave as human remains dating back some 40,000 before the present were discovered here in the massive limestone caves.

The on-site Archaeological Museum documents this very well and there are some original and constructed remains on display. The Great Cave was a burial site for at least 166 Homo sapiens. Archaeological digs were conducted here under the watchful eye of Tom Harrisson, the former ethnologist with Sarawak Museum. His research hut still stands at the mouth of the cave located 4km from the park entrance.

Further along the dark trail is the Painted Cave where the remains of paintings can be found stretching along 32m of rock wall but safely guarded by an iron fence. Perhaps World Heritage status would result in the injection of some money which could better protect these paintings so that visitors could get closer for a better view.

Read more about visiting the Niah Caves in Sarawak
(Stories from the Brunei Times only appear for about 24 hours, so if it is no longer available, you may wish to email me)

Books about the caves at Niah, including the skeletal burials:
Uncovering Southeast Asia’s Past: Selected Papers from the 10th International Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists by E. A. Bacus, I. Glover and V. C. Pigott (Eds) has a paper entitled: Bones from ‘Hell’: Preliminary Results of New Work on the Harrisson Faunal Assemblage from the Deepest Part of Niah Cave, Sarawak
-Reconstructing human subsistence in the West Mouth (Niah Cave, Sarawak) burial series using stable isotopes of carbon by J. Krigbaum
-The archaeology of foraging and farming at Niah Cave, Sarawak by G. Barker
Early History (The Encyclopedia of Malaysia) by Nik Hassan Shuhaimi Nik Abdul Rahman (Ed)

Ethnic use of Chinese jars

Feature on the “Odyssey: From China to the Ulu” at the Sarawak Museum.

13 April 2006 (The Star) – Feature on the “Odyssey: From China to the Ulu” at the Sarawak Museum.

Ethnic use of Chinese jars

The exhibition, “Ceramic Odyssey: From China to the Ulu” features nearly 100 pieces of Chinese ceramics from the museum’s extensive collection in a thematic display based on their uses by various local communities.

A traditional death ritual of the Melanau was placing blue and white Qing plates under the head, shoulders, feet and hands of the deceased.