Thailand's rock art

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The Shumla (Studying Human Use of Materials, Land, and Art), a centre for rock art research based in Texas, recently made a trip to Thailand to see some of the rock art there. Rock art is one of the least understood pieces of material culture in Southeast Asia, and in this region is given a cursory, by-the-way mention in texts. Rock art in Thailand is clustered around the northeast and along the peninsula.

Southwest Texas Live, 21 Feb 2008

Shumla sends Texas to Thailand for rock art research
Southwest Texas live, 21 February 2008
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Ban Chiang case unsettles museums in US

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The repercussions from the smuggled Ban Chiang artifacts case in California have got museums around the US keeping a close watch. Especially since under US law, all the Ban Chiang material currently in the collections of US museums might be considered stolen property because of a 1961 Thai law.

Thai Antiquities, Resting Uneasily
New York Times, 17 February 2008
This feature is scheduled to be published in the US on Feb 17, but has been online since yesterday

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Disputed Angkor site should be 'jointly managed'


A professor at the Chulalonkorn University in Thailand has proposed that the disputed site of Preah Vihear should be jointly managed by both Thai and Cambodian authorities because of existing unresolved border disputes in the surrounding area. The Preah Vihear temple is located on Cambodian soil, but its entrance is <strike>only</strike> usually accessed through the Thai side of the border.

Temple area ‘should be jointly managed’
Bangkok Post, 13 February 2008
Link is only valid for the day
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Tax evasion scheme proves costly for Southeast Asian Archaeology

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The New York Times carries an article walking about how the recent antiquities smuggling racket (see here, here and here) damages the archaeological record – and all for a tax evasion scheme. The article quotes extensively from Dr Joyce White of the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Ban Chiang project. Many thanks to Dr. White for flagging the article.

Ban Chiang Ware, creative commons image by drdrewhonolulu

Tax Scheme Is Blamed for Damage to Artifacts
The New York Times, 04 Feb 2008
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Thai defence ministry speaks out on Preah Vihear dispute

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A minor furore erupted when a spokesman for the Thai defence ministry spoke out on the ongoing dispute about management of the Preah Vihear temple, which resides on Cambodian soil but is only accessible through the Thai side of the border.

Preah Vihear, Creative Commons image by Hintz Family
Creative Commons image by Hintz Family

Army warns dispute could have repercussions
Bangkok Post, 25 January 2008
Note: Link is no longer available

Military bungles over Preah Vihear
Nation Multimedia, 26 January 2008
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5 Southeast Asian archaeology sites to visit (that are not Angkor)

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Forget Angkor. Sure, it’s one of the largest religious monuments in the world, and you gotta admit that with spectacular architecture, sculpture and bas-reliefs there’s no wonder over two million people visited Cambodia last year. But the archaeological sites in Southeast Asian are so much more than the 11th century temple to Vishnu.

With some suggestions from the facebook group, SEAArch gives you the internet tour of five other spectacular archaeological sites in Southeast Asia open to the casual visitor – and three of them are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. So step in and take a look at some of the other great sites Southeast Asia has to offer – in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and yes, even Singapore!

Note: The names in parentheses denote the nearest airport.

UNESCO to evaluate Ayutthaya site

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The time of reckoning for Ayutthaya has come, it seems. The former Thai capital will be visited by experts from UNESCO to judge its continued status as a World Heritage Site, in the wake of development work nearby, untidiness and mismanagement.

Ayutthaya. Creative Commons photo by Joerg Riechel
Creative Commons photo by Jeorg Riechel

Ayutthaya under threat of delisting by Unesco
Bangkok Post, 16 January 2008
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