Selections, February 2007

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A selection of archaeology-related books, new to the catalogue of Select Books, a specialised publisher and retailer of books pertaining to Southeast Asia. For ordering info, please visit the Select Books website.

Early Civilizations Of Southeast Asia. O’ Reilly, Dougald JW. Gb. 2007. 238pp. pb $69.75 (The extensive archaeological research of recent years means there has been a great increase in knowledge about Southeast Asia’s prehistoric and protohistoric society. This volume provides a general picture of the events and forces which shaped the area’s early human development, social grouping and often-complex systems of government. Light is shed on the Pyu civilization of Myanmar, the Mon and Dvaravati kingdoms of Thailand, the early politics of Cambodia and the rise of Champa in Vietnam. With sketch maps, bibliography and index.)

Southeast Asian Archaeology: Wilhelm G. Solheim II Festschrift. Paz, Victor (ed.). Ph. 2004. 636pp. pb $118.00 (Professor Wilhelm G. Solheim II (b. 1924) retired from his post at the University of Hawaii in 1991 but still continues his active work and research in Palawan and elsewhere. This compilation of 31 papers by his pupils and colleagues is a celebratory festschrift, which indicates the extent of Solheim’s influence as an archaeologist and mentor, and also in fostering awareness of Southeast Asia’s prehistory. Papers on general and personal achievements are in Part One; Part Two looks at research and discoveries in Island Southeast Asia and the papers in Part Three are on mainland Southeast Asia. Together they provide indications of the vast areas of yet-to-be understood prehistory. With publication list and index.)

Khmer Empire, The: Cities And Sanctuaries From The 5th To The 13th Century. Jacques, Claude; Philip Lafond. Th. 2007. 279pp. hc $141.75 (Scholarship and photography of a high order combine to present the remaining built heritage of the vast Khmer Kingdom which from the 5th-13th century dominated or ruled much of Southeast Asia. Another book (“Angkor: Cities and Temples”) focuses on the central power base of Angkor, and this volume explores widely scattered temples and ruined sites that remain in Cambodia, Thailand and Laos. 42 maps and plans and 400 annotated colour photographs of sometimes now inaccessible buildings, artefacts and sites bring to view astonishing achievements of one of the world’s most powerful historic empires. With bibliography, glossary and index.)

Archaeology As History In Early South Asia. Ray, Himanshu Prabha; Carla M. Sinopoli (ed.). In. 2004. 511pp. hc $96.00 (22 separately referenced papers make up this study of interaction between archaeology/anthropology and history in pre-modern South Asia and of ways in which cooperative interaction can be extended. Papers on the history of archaeology in South Asia are followed by discussion of archaeological methods, techniques and chronology. Five on temples and sacred spaces and two on gender in archaeological artefacts follow three papers on ethno-archaeology in South Asia. With black-and-white drawings and photographs, and index.)

Caves Of Northern Thailand. Sidisunthorn, Pindar; Simon Gardner et al. Th. 2006. 391pp. hc $78.75 (This richly illustrated volume presents a wide range of knowledge about caves in Northern Thailand explored and studied by the Phang Ma Pha Project of 1998-2000. Primary and secondary data from 46 caves in Mae Hong Son Province, many of which had never been surveyed, was collected. This is of interest to hydrologists, geologists, archaeologists, and those concerned with forestry, land use, temples, folklore and community needs. Unique photographs and summary notes of 100 caves indicate their diverse beauty and structure and some of the religious observances to which they contribute. With maps, glossary, location details, bibliography and index.)

Ancient Town Of Hoi An. Vt. 2006. 350pp. pb $43.00 (From the 16th-19th century Hoi Ann was a flourishing international port on the Dai Chem estuary and entrepot for international traders from China and Japan, Europe and elsewhere. It has uniquely significant architecture and relics. This volume reprints the papers from a multidisciplinary international conference held in 1990 to explore the history of and future plans for the city. Accounts are given of possible restoration work, and of the many factors which were involved in the city’s unique trading, missionary and cultural role in Vietnam’s history. In 1999, Hoi Ann was inscribed into Unesco’s list of World Heritage Sites. With sketch maps)

Champa Ancient Towers: Reality & Legend. Ngo Van Doanh. Vt. 2006. 340pp. pb $33.50 (The ancient towers of Champa, mainly situated in the My Son basin and around Dong Duong have long been a source of myths, and archaeological interest. This softback discusses the present state and known history of the towers and some of the speculations, events and myths associated with them. With references and photographs.)

Buddhist Art In South-East Asia: The Indian Influence On The Art Of Thailand (Reprinted 2004). Le May, Reginald. In. 1938. 163pp. pb $104.00 (2004 reissue of the 1938 book, A Concise History of Buddhist Art in Siam, this book explores the different forms of Buddhist art which flourished in Southeast Asia up to the end of the 16th century CE. 200 black-and-white photographs illustrate the chapters on the different periods of early Buddhist art in Thailand. Interrelationships with India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Cambodia and Indonesia are highlighted. With sketch maps, bibliography and index.)

Human And Divine: The Hindu And Buddhist Iconography Of Southeast Asian Art From The Claire And Aziz Bassoul Collection. Bassoul, Aziz. Le. 2006. 360pp. hc $110.00 (This volume presents 150 objects of Hindu and Buddhist iconography from the Bassoul Collection of Southeast Asian art. There are accounts of Hinduism and Hindu art, of the Buddha story and the spread of Buddhism and Buddhist art in Southeast Asia, all written for the art lover, as well as explanatory commentaries, provenance details and colour plates for each of the artefacts. With glossary and bibliography.)

Categories: Books Southeast Asia