The Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts is running an online course on the archaeology of human bones in Southeast Asia from May-June 2021. It is an introductory course covering various aspects of burial archaeology in Southeast Asia, principles of human anatomy, demonstration classes and virtual site visits.
As many of you might know, I work full-time for SPAFA and this course is a project that I oversee directly. We’ve put together a team of colleagues from around the region to provide a great introduction into the subject, and I hope that it will lead to other courses in the future!
Bones, and in particular human remains, are commonly found in archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. Some notable sites with human remains include the Nong Ratchawat Archaeological Site (Suphan Buri province, Thailand), Gua Harimau (South Sumatra province, Indonesia) and Liang Bua (Flores Island, Indonesia). Bones are especially fragile in tropical environments, and are prone to disintegration if not properly extracted and consolidated after excavation.
In 2020, SEAMEO SPAFA was meant to conduct an Advanced Field School on the On-Site Handling and Conservation of Bones. However, due to the global pandemic, the programme was changed in the light of global travel restrictions. This online course is designed to give participants an overview of human remains in Southeast Asian archaeological contexts, the basics of human anatomy, demonstrations of how to properly extract, stabilise and store bone materials during archaeological excavations and virtual site visits. Over the course of six weeks, participants will listen to instructional lectures and are required to complete assignments designed to assess their understanding of the subject material. Once the global situation improves and international travel can be undertaken, this course will be used as a foundation and requirement for the advanced on-site training courses.
Source: SEAMEO SPAFA