Noel Hidalgo Tan

Hi! I’m Noel – an archaeologist from Singapore living and working in Bangkok. I’ve been involved with Southeast Asian archaeology for over a decade now, and have been interested in it for a lot longer. Growing up in Singapore, there was not much opportunity to learn about archaeology in a formal setting – there are no archaeology degrees offered in the country, and the closest was in high school history. So I began this website in 2006 to collect news about the archaeology of the region, mainly as a way for me to learn what was going on in the region, and since then the site has grown to become an educational resource for the public.

While in Singapore, I was lucky enough to participate in a few archaeological excavations, and went on to study archaeology at universities overseas. I went on to complete a Masters and PhD in archaeology in Malaysia and Australia, focusing on rock art which remains one of my main research interests. After finishing my PhD at the Australian National University in 2014, I moved to Bangkok to my current role as the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at the SEAMEO Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SPAFA).

At SPAFA, I oversee the centre’s archaeology programmes which are focused on capacity-building for archaeologists in the region and to broadly promote the field of Southeast Asian archaeology and cultural heritage. I am also the Managing Editor for the centre’s academic journal. I also continue to research the rock art of Southeast Asia and maintain this website.

Below you can find more information about my research and projects, as well as links to my other professional pages. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.


Journal Articles (peer-reviewed)

Edited Books


Book Chapters

Conference Proceedings

  • Tan, N. H., & Pookaiyaudom, G. (2020). Sustainability Strategies for Tourism Management of Archaeological Sites Proceedings of the International Conference On Archaeology 2019: “Promoting Archaeology Towards Heritage And Tourism”.
  • Tan, N. H. (2017). Boat rock art from Luang Prabang, Laos Sea and Underwater Cultural Heritage in Viet Nam and Southeast Asia (pp. 143-148). Hai Phong: Institute of Archaeology.
  • Tan, N. H. (2017). Challenges in the development of Underwater Archaeology, past and present: A SEAMEO SPAFA Perspective Sea and Underwater Cultural Heritage in Viet Nam and Southeast Asia (pp. 24-28). Hai Phong: Institute of Archaeology.
  • Tan, N. H. (2016). Rock art as an indication of (Austronesian) migration in Island Southeast Asia. In B. Prasetyo, T. S. Nastiti, & T. Simanjuntak (Eds.), Austronesian Diaspora: A New Perspective (pp. 165-180). Yogyakarta: Gadjah Mada University Press.
  • Tan, N. H. (2016). Elephants in Southeast Asian Rock Art: An Overview. In A. Manatunga (Ed.), Asian Elephants in Culture and Nature (pp. 367-374). Colombo: Centre for Asian Studies, University of Kalaniya, Sri Lanka.
  • Sukkham, A., Taçon, P.S.C. & Tan, N.H. (2011). Rock art of Phrayanaga (Viking) Cave, southern Thailand: the illustration of ancient vessels. Proceedings from the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage, 8-12 Nov 2011, Manila, Philippines.


Other Notable Works

Conference and Invited Presentations

In the News



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