If you’re a member of the SAA, please sing this petition to help form an interest group for Southeast Asian Archaeology.
We the undersigned wish to form an Interest Group of the Society of American Archaeology devoted to the promotion of Southeast Asian Archaeology (SEAA). The unique and specific aim of the SEAA Interest Group is to provide an international forum for archaeologists and other scholars with a common interest in the archaeology of Southeast Asia. We consider the region of Southeast Asia to include countries in mainland Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Peninsular Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam), Island Southeast Asia (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, East Timor). We recognize that the Pacific Islands (Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia) had long-standing interactions with Southeast Asia, and welcome scholars with research interests in this domain as well. The aim of our group is to advance the field of Southeast Asian Archaeology by providing an opportunity for scholars to share and promote research on this region, and encourage discussion and intra-regional collaboration, thereby facilitating the growth and development of scholars with an interest in Southeast Asia.
Please contact Alison Carter (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your ideas, comments and suggestions. The full proposal document is here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1n2ZQQ65G-kMjtqiO4MqV77c3jV4l114hAqlSp54ZPUo/edit?usp=sharing Please encourage your colleagues to sign as well.
Source: Petition to start a Society of American Archaeology Southeast Asian Archaeology Interest Group
via The Conversation, 08 December 2017
Researchers in human evolution used to focus on Africa and Eurasia – but not anymore. Discoveries in Asia and Australia have changed the picture, revealing early, complex cultures outside of Africa.
Source: World’s scientists turn to Asia and Australia to rewrite human history
via The International News, 09 December 2017:
Over 17,000 copper coins and the remains of 2,600 animal and plant species have also been found.
Source: Relics of 800-year-old ship found under water
Grant opportunity by the National Geographic Society for human origins research, including within Southeast Asia. Deadline is on 3 January 2018
For more than 50 years, the National Geographic Society has supported exploration into the evolution of humankind. Our grants have led to hundreds of new discoveries in paleoanthropology, paleolithic archaeology, molecular anthropology, and paleoecology that have fundamentally changed the understanding of our own species. As we consider that legacy, we look to those areas of the planet where little is known about human origins, and we seek to invest in new ideas, projects, and explorers in and from these regions. The goal of this fund is to encourage more investigation of hominid evolution in Africa and Asia, with preference given to projects in relatively unexplored parts of those continents. Preference will also be given to applicants who are residents or citizens of the country of fieldwork as well as to projects with strong local capacity development components.
Priority will be given to projects that aim to do one or more of the following:
- Discover or explore new paleoanthropological fossil sites in Africa or Asia, particularly those in Central and West Africa and those in East, Southeast, South, and Central Asia
- Increase understanding of the biological, cultural, or ecological parameters of human origins in Africa or Asia
- Develop local capacity in human origins exploration in Africa or Asia
Applicants may request up to US $50,000, though grants are typically funded for less than US $30,000. Up to 20 percent of the requested amount can be used as stipends for the applicant or team members (please see the How to Apply page for stipend eligibility requirements and other budgetary guidance). Projects focused around education or storytelling should explicitly state the plan for evaluating the impact of the work.
Source: RFP: Uncovering Human Origins in Asia and Africa
via South China Morning Post, 29 November 2017: The Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage is currently underway in Hong Kong, with many participants from Southeast Asia. This report from the SCMP focuses on China’s emerging role as a leader in maritime archaeology and its potential implications for its power.
This week, more than 100 of the region’s leading marine archaeologists from 23 nations convened at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum for the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage. At the opening reception on Monday night, the meteoric rise of China as a force in maritime archaeology was one of the popular topics of discussion.
Source: How China uses shipwrecks to weave a history of seaborne trade that backs up its construction of a new maritime Silk Road
The Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage is currently underway in Hong Kong until the end of the week. If you are on Twitter you can follow the proceedings with the hashtah #apconf2017 (or see the feed below)
Over the past decade, archaeologists have been able to directly date rock art, particularly in Island Southeast Asia at sites in East Kalimantan, East Timor and South Sulawesi. The dates of rock art indicate that modern humans were creating rock art during the Pleistocene, comparable to similar rock art in Europe. In this paper by Aubert et al., the authors note that the presence of these sites and dates now begs the question, did the ability to create rock art move out of Africa with human migrations, or did it erupt independently in different parts of the world? Also within Island Southeast Asia, did rock art develop from a specific place and spread throughout prehistoric Sahul, or did it arise independently among different communities in the region?
Recent technological developments in scientific dating methods and their applications to a broad range of materials have transformed our ability to accurately date rock art. These novel breakthroughs in turn are challenging and, in some instances, dramatically changing our perceptions of the timing and the nature of the development of rock art and other forms of symbolic expression in various parts of the late Pleistocene world. Here we discuss the application of these methods to the dating of rock art in Southeast Asia, with key implications for understanding the pattern of recent human evolution and dispersal outside Africa.
The Timing and Nature of Human Colonization of Southeast Asia in the Late Pleistocene: A Rock Art Perspective – Current Anthropology
via The Conversation, 16 November 2017:
More than 48 shipwrecks have been illicitly salvaged – and the figure may be much higher. Museums can play a key role in the protection of these wrecks, alongside strategic recovery and legislative steps.
Source: The race to save up to 50 shipwrecks from looters in Southeast Asia
via The Guardian, 03 November 2017: 40 shipwrecks, mostly war graves, in Southeast Asian waters have been found to be illegally scavenged at unprecedented rates.
Dozens of warships believed to contain the remains of thousands of British, American, Australian, Dutch and Japanese servicemen from the second world war have been illegally ripped apart by salvage divers, the Guardian can reveal.
An analysis of ships discovered by wreck divers and naval historians has found that up to 40 second world war-era vessels have already been partially or completely destroyed. Their hulls might have contained the corpses of 4,500 crew.
Governments fear other unmarked graves are at risk of being desecrated. Hundreds more ships – mostly Japanese vessels that could contain the war graves of tens of thousands of crew killed during the war – remain on the seabed.
Source: The world’s biggest grave robbery: Asia’s disappearing WWII shipwrecks – The Guardian
via Unesco, 21 September 2017: I was in Makassar last week to attend this meeting organised by Unesco and ASEAN. On the agenda was the 2001 convention on Underwater Cultural Heritage (of which only Cambodia is signatory to).
Source: UNESCO and ASEAN joint forces to strengthen the protection of underwater heritage in the Southeast Asian region | United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization