Follow Darren Curnoe on his Niah Caves excavation

Darren Curnoe of the University of New South Wales is on his three-week excavation of the Niah Caves in Sarawak and he will be tweeting and broadcasting his experiences on Facebook Live. You can follow his progress here:

Darren Curnoe – Anthropologist. 80 likes. Biological anthropologist and archaeologist with an insatiable curiosity about the kind of creature we are and how we came to be this way.

Source: Darren Curnoe – Anthropologist

Tomb findings released

Archaeologists announced the results of the excavation of a 19th century tomb in Binh Dinh province.

Excavation of tomb in Binh Dinh province. Source: Viet Nam News 20151123
Excavation of tomb in Binh Dinh province. Source: Viet Nam News 20151123

Excavation of ancient tomb made public in Binh Dinh
Viet Nam News, 23 November 2015

The initial analysis of an ancient tomb excavated in An Nhon District in the central coastal province of Binh Dinh has been made known.

According to archaeologists, the tomb contained a mummified man aged from 67 to 70 years old. He was believed to be Vietnamese based on the characteristics of his nasal cavity and orbit.

Dr Nguyen Lan Cuong, head of the excavating team, told Viet Nam News, that the Viet Nam Institute of Archaeology decided to excavate and research this tomb as it was located in a residential area which had been reconstructed.

Full story here.

Excavations at Ho Citadel reveal moat structure

Excavations at the Ho Citadel Unesco World Heritage Site have uncovered the remnant of a moat system among other archaeological finds.

Excavation at Ho Citadel. Source: Viet Nam News 20150819
Excavation at Ho Citadel. Source: Viet Nam News 20150819

Relics discovered at Ho Dynasty Citadel
Viet Nam News, 19 August 2015

Several relics and artifacts have been excavated from the Ho Dynasty Citadel’s southern area in the central province of Thanh Hoa, Director of Heritage Conservation Centre Do Quang Trong said.

Most recently, the three-month-long excavation of a 2,040sq.m area discovered a moat system and the relic of a citadel’s coastline.

The 61m-wide moat system has many processed stone blocks and a layer of crushed stone that is 5cm to 10cm thick.

The 7m-wide coastline relic is made of stone, lying 3.05m to 3.22m underground in the north and 3.89m to 4.60m in the south of the excavated site.

Full story here.

The archaeology of an Angkorian household

The Phnom Penh Post’s feature on an ongoing excavation in Angkor Wat, led by my friend Alison Carter. While working within the grounds of the famed temple, the excavation is looking to uncover the daily lives of the common people who would have lived in the complex.

Angkor Wat excavation. Source : Phnom Penh Post 20150627
Angkor Wat excavation. Source : Phnom Penh Post 20150627

Archaeologists digging in search of common people
Phnom Penh Post, 27 June 2015

In Angkor Wat research, the focus has long been on temples and high society. A new project there is taking a different approach, laying the foundation for a new understanding of the iconic empire

A team excavating a dirt mound at Angkor Wat is hoping to shed light on one of the enduring blank spots in archeologists’ understanding of the Angkorian empire: the lives of its common people.

It’s a fresh direction in the field of Angkorian archaeology, according to the leader of the dig, Alison Carter, 35, an Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney.

“We’ve spent a lot of time focusing on the temples and inscriptions and the elite members of the society, but there’s still so much that can be learned about the regular people who were contributing to the Angkorian empire. I hope that this project can spark some interest in those regular people,” she said this week.

The project, titled “Excavating Angkor: Household Archeology at Angkor Wat” which began in early June and will continue through July, is funded primarily by the US-based National Geographic Society, as well as the Dumbarton Oaks institute. It is a part of the larger Greater Angkor Project, an umbrella research initiative managed by the University of Sydney and the APSARA Authority.

Full story here.

Empress Place excavation wraps up

The excavations at Singapore’s Empress Place wraps up over last weekend, and the excavation team gave a press conference to show some of the major finds.

Finds from the Empress Place excavation in Singapore. Source: Today 20150416
Finds from the Empress Place excavation in Singapore. Source: Today 20150416

‘Excavation jackpot’ at Empress Place archaeological dig
Today, 16 April 2015

Empress Place dig turns up proof suggesting ancient Temasek had an established chief
Straits Times, 16 April 2015
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Singapore’s biggest archeology dig has unearthed an estimated two tonnes of artefacts, the country’s largest haul ever, the National Heritage Board (NHB) said today (April 16).

The two-month project at Empress Place, in front of the Victoria Concert Hall, wrapped up last Sunday.

It’s an “excavation jackpot”, said Mr Alvin Tan, assistant chief executive officer for Policy and Development at the NHB, with some pieces dating back to the 13th Century.

Some of the more significant artefacts uncovered, he said, will be put on display in museums once cataloguing and research work has been completed.

Full story here.

Indonesian archaeologists discover ancient settlement in West Papua

Archaeologists in West Papua have discovered archaeological remains on a settlement site situated on a strategic location overlooking the Cendrawasih coast. Finds include numerous colonial period artefacts – European and Chinese ceramics. [Many thanks to Hari Suroto, who is also quoted in the article, for the heads up].

Archaeologists working at the Mosandurei  site in West Papua. Source: Tempo 20150329
Archaeologists working at the Mosandurei site in West Papua. Source: Tempo 20150329

Archaeologists Discover Ancient Settlement in Papua
Tempo, 29 March 2015

Archaeologists in Napan District, Nabire Regency, Papua Province, have discovered a Mosandurei site which is an ancient settlement.

“The ancient village Mosandurei was discovered during the process of an archaeological research, said researcher staff of Jayapura Archaeological Station, Hari Suroto, in Jayapura, Papua, on Saturday, March 28, as quoted by Antara News.

According to Suroto, stone tools beads, Chinese ceramic from Ming and Ching Dynasty (XVI-XVII, XVII-XVIII centuries), European ceramic wares, bottles, and earthenware.

“Manufacturer stamps are found on the European ceramics, namely Fregout & Co Saastrusht Dragon Made in Holland and Petrus Regout & Co Maastricht made in Holland,” Suroto added.

Full story here.

Largest archaeological excavation underway in Singapore

It’s rare to see some archaeology from my home country – right now the largest excavation is underway at Empress Place, right in the middle of downtown Singapore, and over the areas that would have been to original settlement of Singapore. It’s a rescue excavation ahead of some construction in the area and the yield have been quite promising – hopefully they will be displayed to be public at some stage.

Excavations at Empress Place, Singapore. Source: Today 20150213
Excavations at Empress Place, Singapore. Source: Today 20150213

Major archaeological dig underway at Empress Place
The Straits Times, 13 February 2015

Unearthing early treasures
Today, 13 February 2015

A major archaeological dig is underway at Empress Place, with 2m-deep pits dug across a 1,000 sq m area about the size of 10 four-room flats.

So far, ceramics such as a porcelain headless Buddha statue, a clay figurine of what looks like a bird, as well as beads from India have been found. Most of these date back to the 14th century.

They form part of a 400kg haul unearthed by a team from the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies since work started on Feb 2.

– See more at:

Both news stories have videos attached to them as well, so check it out here and here.

Archaeologists investigate buried ruin in East Java

Archaeologists in Indonesia are investigating a buried ruin, believed to be a Majapahit-period temple, in a village in Lumajung Regency, East Java.

Buried ruin in Lumajang Regency, East Java. Source: Tempo 20150113
Buried ruin in Lumajang Regency, East Java. Source: Tempo 20150113

Arkeolog Mulai Teliti Temuan Situs di Lumajang
Temp, 13 January 2015
Article is in Bahasa Indonesia
Continue reading “Archaeologists investigate buried ruin in East Java”

Excavation at Indonesian megalithic site draws criticism

An excavation at the Gunung Padag megalithic site has drawn criticism for its excavation methods by the local archaeology centre. The excavation is being run by an independent team of researcher, who according to the report, have “unlimited” funding.

Archaeologists slam excavation of Gunung Padang site
Jakarta Post, 30 September 2014
Continue reading “Excavation at Indonesian megalithic site draws criticism”