PhD Scholarship Opportunity – Archaeology at The Australian National University

No Comments

A PhD Scholarship opportunity in archaeology at the Australian National University, under Prof. Sue O’Connor (disclosure: my former supervisor). Deadline is 1 June 2018.

The candidate will have the opportunity to work on one of the key archaeological sites located within Australia, New Guinea, Timor-Leste, and Indonesia as part of a broader goal to investigate the signature of the peopling and subsequent history of Wallacea and Sahul (Australia and New Guinea). Sites in both regions have rich archaeological assemblages beginning as early as 65,000 years ago but few have continuous occupation sequences.

Through CABAH’s Irinjili Research Training Program, the candidate will participate in regular Masterclasses, Short Courses and Thematic Workshops, to improve technical and professional skills. Please contact Professor Sue O’Connor for further information and to discuss specific projects that you may be interested in developing.

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree with at least upper second-class honours (first class honours is preferred) or equivalent, or a Graduate Diploma or Master’s degree with a significant research thesis component and/or relevant experience.

This scholarship includes paid medical and leave entitlements, travel reimbursement, and thesis reimbursement. A fee waiver may be offered for outstanding international students. The ANU College of Asia and the Pacific provides an additional top-up fund to support fieldwork, travel and conference attendance of $7500 plus $800 for copy editing for the period of the scholarship. Other benefits include funding for fieldwork, specialist analyses, and radiocarbon dates necessary to complete the PhD will be available through CABAH.

Source: PhD Scholarship – Archaeology at The Australian National University

[Lecture] The Emergence of Complex Behaviour: Examples from Ancient Southeast Asia

No Comments

Readers in Canberra may be intestested in this upcoming talk by Marc Oxenham in August 9

This presentation explores the evidence for the emergence of complex behaviour in the past, using Southeast Asia as an illustrative example. I ask what defines complexity in an archaeological sense and discuss this in terms of evidence for major archaeologically visible changes in human behaviour over time. After an over view of the population history of the region, I look at the rise of high density hunter-gatherer communities in northern Southeast Asia (southern China and northern Vietnam). The reasons for their success, and ultimate failure, are contrasted with the emergence of the first farming communities, and concomitant massive demographic changes, in the same region. Throughout the discussion of the emergence of complex behaviours I look to potential environmental (e.g. climate volatility and the effects of documented temperature rises of 2 to 4oC between 8-3,000 years ago) and anthropogenic (e.g. land clearance, wild plant and animal management) factors. Finally, I ask if any salutary lessons can be drawn from our nearest neighbours that adapted to and lived with the effects of climate change thousands of years ago.

Source: The Emergence of Complex Behaviour: Examples from Ancient Southeast Asia Tickets, Wed, 09/08/2017 at 4:00 pm | Eventbrite

First Contact: Impact of Pleistocene Hominins on Island Ecosystems Conference

No Comments

Readers in Australia may be interested in this free conference in Canberra on Pleistocene Hominins in Island Ecosystems – Southeast Asia is well represented.

Date: April 26 2017
Venue: Australian National University, ANU Commons Function Centre
Info: Contact Juliet Meyer,

Islands represent unique ecosystems which are highly vulnerable to environmental disturbances, invasions, and natural disasters. Evidence of Pleistocene hominins on islands, however, is rare and largely restricted to a few islands in East and Southeast Asia, California, and the Mediterranean. This conference day will bring together researchers from around the world, specialising on the archaeological and palaeontological records of islands, to compare chronologies of hominin arrival, available technologies, ecological and geological events, and the records of extinctions. It will address the fundamental question of whether island overkill is a phenomenon restricted to post-Neolithic populations, or has always been a characteristic impact of our species.

Call for Papers: The Archaeology of Portable Art: South East Asian, Pacific, and Australian Perspectives

No Comments

My alma mater is holding a symposium in May on portable art, focusing on Southeast Asia, the Pacific and Australian regions. Paper proposals are now being accepted and you are encouraged to contact Duncan Wright or Michelle Langley for more details.


The Archaeology of Portable Art: South East Asian, Pacific, and Australian Perspectives
Date: 23-24 May 2015
Venue: The Australian National University

This symposium aims to reignite the dialogue about portable art across Island South East Asia, the Pacific and Australia and by doing so review future directions for research. Specific themes are: object histories; use of ethnography/museum collections for informing archaeological research; use of ‘intangible technologies’ and organic artefacts for expressing community affiliation/identity; cognitive development, the role of portable art in Pleistocene and Holocene expansions; and experimental studies.

Full details here.

Eighth Lapita Conference

No Comments

The announcement is out for the 8th Lapita Conference to be held next year in Vanuatu.

Eighth Lapita Conference
Date: 5 – 10 July 2015
Venue: Port Vila, Vanuatu

For the Eighth conference we want in the formal sessions to get back to Lapita ‘basics’ and the original intention of the Lapita conference series to focus on Lapita itself, as well as what came immediately before and immediately after it in the Western Pacific. There are now several conference series which cover Pacific prehistory more generally and specialist conferences have also been held on other related matters such as cultural heritage. We see no reason to replicate these with this series. We appreciate that many Pacific archaeologists who do not themselves work on Lapita-related topics directly will want to attend and so we have for the first time in the Lapita conference series instituted a major poster session that allows for other recent Pacific research to be presented that is not otherwise catered for in the program. We hope that the poster session will become a staple of future Lapita conferences as well, allowing the active participation of the entire Pacific archaeology community.

[CFP] Taiwan: The View from the South

No Comments

A Taiwan-centric conference scheduled for next year at the Australian National University, with suggested panels for archaeology and indigenous studies. Paper proposals should be in by 1 September 2014.

Taiwan: The View from the South
6-8 January 2015
The Australian National University, Canberra

The Australian Centre on China in the World invites submissions for an international conference on all aspects of the study of Taiwan to take place in its award–winning new building. The conference aims to bring together scholars from Taiwan and around the world to discuss research on Taiwan, pre-historically, historically and in the contemporary world, as well as from all disciplinary backgrounds. Suggested fields include, but are not limited to:
History, memory and heritage
Social movements and informal politics
Taiwan’s literature, cinema, art, pop culture and its museums
The history and practice of religion in Taiwan
Indigenous studies
Archaeology and pre-history
The Taiwanese overseas
International relations, in particular with the Pacific, South-east Asia and Africa
Political relations in its region, including with the PRC
Economic relation, including Taiwanese in China and Chinese in Taiwan
Critical Taiwan studies
A screening of Tsai Ming-liang’s 2013 prize-winning film Stray Dogs 郊遊 will take place on the evening of January 7, preceded by a discussion with the director. Two of Tsai’s recent short films will also be shown during the conference.

An exhibition of the photography of Long Chin-san 郎靜山 at the Australian Centre on China in the World gallery, generously lent by the National Museum of History, Taipei, will be opened during the conference.

Keynote Speakers
Dr Lung Ying-tai 龍應台 (Minister of Culture, Republic of China (Taiwan))
Mr Tsai Ming-liang 蔡明亮 (Film Director​)
Professor Huang Fu-san 黃富三 (Institute of Taiwan History, Academia Sinica)
​Professor Michael Hsiao Hsin-huang 蕭新煌 (Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica)
Emeritus Professor Bruce Jacobs (School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics, Monash University)
Dr Mark Harrison (School of Humanities, University of Tasmania)

Submission Details
Abstracts (maximum 400 words) are to be submitted to by Monday 1 September 2014. Please include in your abstract the paper title, presenter’s name, email address, and institutional affiliation. Abstracts may also be submitted for panels of three speakers.

Important Dates
Abstract submission deadline: 1 September 2014
Abstract acceptance notification: 1 October 2014

Financial Support
The conference organisers will provide accommodation for participants whose papers are accepted for the conference for the nights of 5 – 8 January 2015. We are, however, unable to provide funds for travelling to and from Canberra.

For Taiwanese participants, there are funding opportunities offered by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Republic of China (Taiwan) for international conference attendance.

Nancy Chiu​

Some story on some Singaporean archaeologist

Noel Hidalgo Tan, ie, me.

Singapore’s Straits Times ran a profile on me and my recent discovery at Angkor Wat (see here and here), on account of me being a Singaporean and all. Including for the archive!

Noel Hidalgo Tan, ie, me.

Noel Hidalgo Tan, ie, me.

S’porean’s discovery at Angkor Wat makes waves
The Straits Times, via Asia News Netowrk, 16 June 2014
Read More

Symposium: Macassan history and heritage

No Comments

The Australian National University is hosting a symposium on the cross-cultural links between traders from Makassar in Sulawesi with northern Australia, including recent archaeological research.

Macassan history and heritage: Building understanding of journeys, encounters and influences
Institute for Professional Practice in Heritage & the Arts
The Australian National University
9-10 February 2012
Read More

Public Lecture: The Bronze Age of Southeast Asia

No Comments

Prof. Charles Higham will be presenting a lecture this Thursday at ANU on the Bronze Age of Southeast Asia. Don’t miss it if you’re in Canberra!

The Bronze Age of Southeast Asia: Timing and impact
Venue: Manning Clark Theatre 1, Manning Clark Centre, Union Court, ANU
Date: Thursday, 29 April 2010
Time: 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Read More