[Paper] Portable X-ray fluorescence analysis of ceramic covered boxes from the 12th/13th-century Java Sea Shipwreck

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via Journal of Archaeological Science Reports: Portable XRF analysis of Qingbai from the Java Sea Shipwreck.

Forty-one ceramic boxes from the twelfth- or thirteenth-century Java Sea Shipwreck were analyzed at the Elemental Analysis Facility at Chicago’s Field Museum using nondestructive portable x-ray fluorescence (PXRF). Twenty-two samples have a qingbai-type glaze and nineteen are painted ware with painted black decorations originally covered by a lead-based green glaze. The goals of the analysis were to (1) test whether visually similar ceramics shared similar elemental compositions; (2) identify ceramics that might have been made at different kiln sites (or from different paste recipes); and (3) determine if compositional groups in the ceramic dataset differentiated using PXRF are archaeologically meaningful. Based on this study, although PXRF can be successfully used to some degree to differentiate between different groups of qingbai-type ceramics, more research needs to be done on its applicability to painted ware pastes.

Source: Portable X-ray fluorescence analysis of ceramic covered boxes from the 12th/13th-century Java Sea Shipwreck: A preliminary investigation – ScienceDirect

100-year-old steamship found in Thai waters

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Rayong streamship window. Source: Ministry of Culture Thailand

via Thairath, 03 September 2018: News reports of a 100-year-old steamship found in the waters of Rayong. The shipwreck is not a new discovery – but there are some interesting pictures of the finds. There is a particularly interesting account by a diver saying that no fisherman or diver go near the site for fear of the paranormal. The article is in Thai.

Rayong streamship window. Source: Ministry of Culture Thailand

Rayong streamship window. Source: Ministry of Culture Thailand

Source: ตะลึง! นักโบราณคดี พบเรือกลไฟ 100 ปี จมใต้ทะเลระยอง

Bringing salvaged wooden ships and artifacts back to life with ‘smart’ nanotech

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via ScienceDaily, 21 August 2018: Not about Southeast Asia, but of interest to underwater archaeologists. A possible way to preserve wood recovered from underwater contexts through the use of smart nanocomposite particles.

When a shipwreck is brought up from the sea depths, the wood quickly starts deteriorating. Scientists are reporting a novel way to use ‘smart’ nanocomposites to conserve a 16th-century British warship, the Mary Rose, and its artifacts. The new approach could help preserve other salvaged ships by eliminating harmful acids without damaging the wooden structures themselves.

Source: Bringing salvaged wooden ships and artifacts back to life with ‘smart’ nanotech

UK investigates fresh reports of looting of sunken navy ships

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via The Guardian, 19 August 2018: UK Government investigating the looting of sunken navy ships in Malaysian and Indonesian waters.

Infographic on shipwrecks in Malaysian and Indoensian waters from the Daily Mail, 18 August 2018

Infographic on shipwrecks in Malaysian and Indoensian waters from the Daily Mail, 18 August 2018

Gavin Williamson says UK will work closely with Indonesia and Malaysia over claims Second World War ships have been plundered

Source: UK investigates fresh reports of looting of sunken navy ships

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The MaP Fund AIMA/ASHA Conference Grants 2018

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Posted on behalf of the MaP Fund

Applications should be sent to: map.fundsa@gmail.com
Deadline – Monday 26 August 2018

Background
The MaP Fund is dedicated to the advancement of maritime and underwater archaeology and the protection and investigation of underwater cultural heritage in the Asia and the Pacific region, in particular in Australia and the ASEAN countries.

One of the objectives of the MaP Fund is to:
* provide grants and scholarships to support graduate and postgraduate students studying maritime or underwater archaeology or underwater cultural heritage management in Australia in attending and presenting their research at conferences in Australia and overseas. We particularly encourage presentation of research at the annual SHA Conference in the USA, the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage and/or the annual AIMA Conference.

The MaP AIMA/ASHA Conference Grants 2018
In order to further the objectives of the MaP Fund we are offering two (or more) grants (up to a total value of $2,000) for Honours, Graduate (Graduate Certificate, Diploma or Masters) or PhD students enrolled full-time or part-time at any Australian University and conducting research towards a thesis in maritime archaeology or a closely related field.

The grants will help the successful applicants to attend and present their research at the 2018 AIMA/ASHA Conference. The grant is expected to cover some of the costs (airfare, conference registration, accommodation, food allowance or conference tours) associated with the conference.

Eligibility criteria are listed below:
The successful applicants must:
• have submitted and been accepted to present at the AIMA/ASHA Conference
• be resident in any state or territory of Australia.
• be enrolled full-time or part-time at any Australian University
• be conducting research for a thesis in maritime archaeology or a closely related field

Requirements
Applicants for the MaP Fund AIMA/ASHA Conference Grants should provide:
* a copy of their abstract for the conference
* a brief cv (no more than 2 pages)
* a covering letter (no more than 1 page) indicating why they should receive this support
* a budget statement (no more than 1 page) indicating the costs that they expect to incur (airfare, conference registration, accommodation, food allowance or conference tours) and indicating what parts of their budget (if anything) are being paid for by their university, scholarship, employer and/or themselves as well as what they would like the MaP Fund grant to pay for.

The successful applicants will be able to demonstrate a strong interest and commitment to maritime archaeology.

The successful applicant will be expected to write a brief blog about their experiences for the MaP Fund Facebook page during the AIMA/ASHA Conference.

See the MaP Fund Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/mapfundsa/

Registrations for the AIMA/ASHA conference have now opened.
Early bird rates are available for full registration of society (ASHA or AIMA) members, purchased before the 10th August.

Thai ‘Indiana Jones’ divers scour Bangkok’s murky river for treasure

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via Channel NewsAsia, 31 July 2018

Kneeling before his homemade metal scuba helmet, Bhoomin Samang prays for good fortune before he dives into the day’s work – scouring the bed of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya river for sunken treasure.

The 62-year-old is part of a small community known as Thailand’s “Indiana Jones” divers, who brave the inky-black underworld of the trash-filled waterway in search of coins, china, jewellery and scrap metal.

“We look for old coins, sometimes we are hired to find lost objects in the river,” says Bhoomin, a veteran diver who has been scouring the river for 30 years.

Source: Thai ‘Indiana Jones’ divers scour Bangkok’s murky river for treasure

Reality Check: Who owns treasure hidden under the sea?

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via BBC, 4 June 2018: The article is based on the 300-year-old San Jose wreck found off the coast of Cartagena, but discusses various issues surrounding the claiming of shipwrecks, the preservation of cultural heritage and claims under international laws which are relevant to Southeast Asia.

Claims over shipwrecks have led to long legal battles over the years.

Source: Reality Check: Who owns treasure hidden under the sea?

The three words that solved an 800-year-old shipwreck mystery

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via News.com.au, 17 May 2018: Chinese inscription provides evidence for a new date to the Java Sea Shipwreck.

AN 800-year-old piece of pottery has helped archaeologists put together fascinating new details about a medieval ship that sank off the coast of Indonesia.

Source: The three words that solved an 800-year-old shipwreck mystery

Revisiting the date of the Java Sea Shipwreck from Indonesia
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.04.002

In this article we draw on suites of new information to reinterpret the date of the Java Sea Shipwreck. The ship was a Southeast Asian trading vessel carrying a large cargo of Chinese ceramics and iron as well as luxury items from outside of China, such as elephant tusks and resin. Initially the wreck, which was recovered in Indonesia, was placed temporally in the mid- to late 13th century based on a single radiocarbon sample and ceramic styles. We employ new data, including multiple radiocarbon dates and inscriptions found on some of the ceramics, to suggest that an earlier chronological placement be considered.

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Underwater survey reveals secrets of Australia WWI wreck off PNG

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via Channel NewsAsia, 23 April 2018:

SYDNEY: Researchers Monday (Apr 23) voiced renewed hope of discovering why Australia’s first submarine sank, after a detailed underwater survey of the long-lost wreck off Papua New Guinea led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. HMAS AE1, the first of two E Class submarines built for the Royal Australian Navy, vanished on Sep 14, 1914 near the Duke of York Islands. The disappearance of the sub, carrying 35 crew members from Australia, Britain and New Zealand, was the nation’s most enduring military mystery until the wreck was found in December following 12 previous expeditions. The new survey, conducted earlier this month with Allen’s research vessel the R/V Petrel, used a remotely-operated vehicle to inspect the sub and collect more than 8,500 high-resolution photos and several hours of video footage. James Hunter of the Australian National Maritime Museum, an archeological observer to the US-Australia expedition, said the fresh imagery should help unravel the mystery of what happened to AE1. “We’re not there yet, we’re still looking through all the footage … it’s going to give us the detail that we need that we didn’t have before,” he told AFP. He said the researchers, who also came from the Royal Australian Navy, Curtin University, the Western Australian Museum and the Submarine Institute of Australia, previously only had low-resolution overhead shots of the wreck. “We’re going to be looking for all sorts of clues. Even the seemingly most innocuous clues may actually help us move forward and have a better understanding of what happened to the submarine,” he added. So far, the images that have been reviewed reveal that the sub’s stern torpedo tube cap was open, although it is not known why, Hunter said. AE1, found in more than 300 metres of water, was the first Allied submarine loss in World War I. The sub had joined naval forces assigned to the capture of the German Pacific colonies in 1914. On Sep 14 she vanished after a rendezvous off Herbertshohe – present day Kokopo – near the Duke of York Islands with the destroyer HMAS Parramatta. Retired Royal Australian Navy Rear Admiral Peter Briggs said in December the most likely cause of the loss remains a diving accident. Allen’s Petrel was involved in the recent discovery of the wreckage of WWII aircraft carrier USS Lexington off the east coast of Australia.

Source: Underwater survey reveals secrets of Australia WWI wreck off PNG

Job Opportunity at the University of Southampton: Senior Research Fellow

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Research Fellow position in Maritime Archaeology for Australasia and Island Southeast Asia at the University of Southampton. Closing date is 11 May 2018, but note that this is a part-time position.

The Department of Archaeology at the University of Southampton seeks to appoint a Senior Research Fellow in Maritime Archaeology or Maritime Anthropology to work with Dr R. Helen Farr on an ERC grant. The successful candidate will have experience of maritime ethnographic research, knowledge of ethical and political guidelines for best practice for research into indigenous communities, and an interest in Australasian and Island SouthEast Asian archaeology.

Source: Job Opportunity at the University of Southampton: Senior Research Fellow