The next Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage will be held in Taiwan in 2020. Session proposals are being solicited until May 1, 2019.
1st CALL FOR CONFERENCE SESSIONS
The Bureau of Cultural Heritage, National Taiwan Ocean University, and the National Museum of Marine Science & Technology would like to welcome you to the Fourth Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage
Session abstract submission deadline: May 1st, 2019
In keeping with the Conference theme and sub-themes stated below, submit a 300-word abstract and session title before May 1st, together with the name of the session organiser, affiliation and email address.
via Medium.com, 20 Feb 2019: A shipwreck in the gulf of Thailand is identified as the Francis Garnier, part of the Messageries Fluviales de Cochinchine fleet that sailed up and down the Mekong in the turn of the 20th century. The article is in Thai. [Update, 23 Feb: there is an article in English here]
This seminar will consider the impact the discovery, recovery and sale of Chinese shipwrecks and their cargoes by treasure hunters has had in China and internationally on the development of policy and law intended to protect the underwater cultural heritage and in particular shipwrecks. The seminar will provide an introduction to the law intended to protect underwater cultural heritage in Hong Kong, China and internationally. The introduction will consider the history of shipwrecks and their recovery and the development of the law of salvage. The seminar will then continue with discussion of the history of wreck and the law in Hong Kong. The next part will consider the great porcelain treasures recovered from South East Asia and the effect these had on China’s domestic law and policy regarding underwater cultural heritage, and the international response. The seminar will then consider China’s recent commitment to discovery, identification and protection of underwater cultural heritage both in its own waters and globally. The seminar will conclude with comment on recent issues involving wreck recovery in South East Asia and questions on the future for policy and law affecting underwater cultural heritage and in particular wreck in the region.
via Free Malaysia Today, 1 November 2018: A story about a World War I naval battle in Penang… and I believe the shipwreck is still there to this day.
Source: Free Malaysia Today 20181101
The Battle of Penang was a brief but deadly action now largely forgotten locally but still marked by the Russians every year.
The battle was mentioned numerous times by Vladimir Putin on his 2003 presidential visit to Malaysia, and on Saturday members of the Russian diplomatic mission to Malaysia remembered the loss of 88 Russian sailors aboard the cruiser Zhemchug (Pearl) during the battle.
Shortly after the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, allied ships from Britain, France and Russia were in and around Penang harbour. One of these was the Russian cruiser Zhemchug, in Penang for repairs to her boilers.
Readers in Hong Kong may be interested in this talk by Bill Jeffery on maritime archaeology in Hong Kong and Asia-Pacific.
The Chinese University of Hong kong by e X p o s e / Shutterstock
Treasures of the Deep: Maritime Archaeology in Hong Kong, China and Asia-Pacific (in English)
Prof. Bill Jeffery (Assistant Professor, University of Guam)
Date：16 Nov 2018
Venue: LT4 Esther Lee Building, Chung Chi College, CUHK
Maritime archaeology is a relatively new discipline in the anthropology field. As was the case in archaeology, maritime archaeology commenced with a fascination and collection of curios or antiquities and not always with a motivation to preserve and study the archaeological record for the benefit of the general public. Collectors and treasure hunters have taken their toll on terrestrial and underwater sites, recovering and collecting artefacts for selling or keeping as personal possessions. Sites such as Nanhai No.1 in China contain a wealth of information about trade in the 13th century, and other sites throughout China, Korea and parts of South East Asia well illustrate the trade and the types of ships that were used throughout the region, and further afield. The Hong Kong waters, located in a significant part of the maritime silk road, could potentially contain sites of great interest in China’s maritime activities. The recent find of a Song Dynasty anchor stock in Hong Kong waters is a tantalizing link in these activities and perhaps indicative of things to come. It reveals Hong Kong’s maritime cultural landscape and seascape is worthy of exploring in greater detail, where the more than 70,000 scuba divers could be of great assistance. This talk will discuss these issues and activities in addition to placing the region’s maritime archaeology into the world context, particularly in association with UNESCO and its Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage.
via the MaP Fund. Grants available for attending an advanced practicum in Maritime Archaeology. Candidates from Cambodia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand are encouraged to apply.
In order to further the objectives of the MaP Fund we are offering two (2) grants (each of up to AU$1,000) for:
one (1) early career researcher (less then 5 years since award of PhD) or early career practitioner (less than 5 years working) who is working as a maritime archaeologist or in a closely related position for a museum, university or government agency in Asia or the Pacific (not including the USA, Australia or New Zealand)
one (1) graduate or postgraduate student resident in Asia or the Pacific region (not including the USA, Australia or New Zealand).and who is currently studying either maritime archaeology OR archaeology and who intends to go on to study maritime archaeology.
Applicants living and working in Cambodia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand are particularly encouraged to apply
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.
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
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.
Indonesia estimates there are 479 sunken ships off its coast alone. Fujian Jiada has supplied five of the eight salvage barges found to be active in the Java Sea in recent years. The vessels have sailed under the Chinese flag and also under those of Cambodia and Mongolia. One of them is the Hai Wei Gong 889, a crane ship which has sailed with a different name and under Chinese and Cambodian flags.