Archaeologists digging up the past at Singapore Art Museum

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via The New Paper, 05 April 2018:

Now, five archaeologists are looking to shed more light on the area’s history through a three-week archaeology investigation at SAM .

The team has started digging six 2m by 1m excavation pits – three in the front lawn and three more in SAM’s courtyards. Actual excavation work will start on Saturday.

The excavations, a partnership between the National Heritage Board (NHB) and SAM, are being carried out by the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre (NSC), Archaeology Unit at the Iseas-Yusof Ishak Institute.

Source: Archaeologists digging up the past at Singapore Art Museum

The NSC Field School – ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute

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Applications for the NSC 2018 Field School are now open. Deadline is April 8, details in the link below.

The Field School will include numerous site visits and lectures in East Java. It will focus on the ancient polity of Majapahit (ca 13th-15th centuries CE). Participants will conduct intensive archaeological and art historical research as well as heritage management at Mount Penanggunan, Trawas, Mojokerto, East Java.

Penanggungan is regarded as one of the most sacred mountains in Java, identified with the summit of Mt Mahāmeru during the Hindu-Buddhist period. Well over 100 archaeological sites, comprising terraced sanctuaries, cave hermitages, bathing places and the remnants of religious communities, have been discovered on its slopes. These historical remains represent the ‘classical age’ of East Javanese art, spanning the 10th to 16th century. The majority of these structures were apparently constructed during the Majapahit period (ca. 1360–1511), thereby contributing to a broader understanding of the cultural dynamics of the so-called ‘age of transition’ in Javanese history.

The Field School maintains a unique full-spectrum approach designed to introduce participants to research design, methodology, field skills, excavation, analysis, and presentation.

The 2018 Field School is a collaboration between the Nalanda–Sriwijaya Centre (NSC), ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS), Singapore; and Pusat Penelitian Arkeologi Nasional (ARKENAS; National Centre for Archaeological Research), Indonesia. It will be hosted at the Ubaya Penanggungan Center, Trawas East Java.

Hélène Njoto (ISEAS) and Bambang Budi Utomo (ARKENAS) will lead the Field School.

Source: The NSC Field School – ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute

[Job] Visiting Fellow (Archaeologist) at the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre

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Archaeology Fellowship at the Nalanda Sriwijaya Centre for Southeast Asian Archaeology! Applications close 31 March 2018 – link below.

The ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute’s (ISEAS) Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre (NSC) invites Archaeologists to apply for the post of: Visiting Fellow

Primary Responsibilities
Prepare and conduct the annual NSC Field School for undergraduate-level students in a Southeast Asian country.
In-charge of editing and soliciting papers for the Archaeological Report Series.
Conduct and publish original archaeological research on Southeast Asia while at NSC.
Assist NSC in the organisation and management of conferences, workshops and seminars.
Contribute to ISEAS collective research and public outreach efforts.

A PhD. in Archaeology.
Expertise in Southeast Asian archaeology and/or premodern history.
Experience in conducting archaeological excavations or field work in Southeast Asia.
Good organisational and student-management skills.
High level of editorial and writing skills in English.
Ability to speak a Southeast Asian language preferred.
Positive work attitude, great communication skills, and ability to work under tight schedule.

Source: Career Opportunities – ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute

Giant sandstone sculpture found near Angkor Thom

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The excavation conducted by the APSARA Authority and the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre as part of a Field School has uncovered a massive 2m tall statue, a great find for what is just day of the excavation!

Archaeologists are typically happy to find pottery shards when they excavate a site in Angkor Archaeological Park as too many centuries have passed and too many cities have risen and collapsed for them to expect to find major objects in the ground.

So what occurred Saturday seemed like something that happens only in the movies. On the second day of an excavation in Siem Reap province, a team of archaeologists found a 1.9 meter statue weighing about 200 kg at an 800-year-old site in Angkor Park.

The excavation is conducted by the Apsara Authority in cooperation with the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies’ Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore. As part of a training program, 10 students from Asian countries, the U.S. and Australia are taking part in the excavation, Mr. Sokrithy said.

Source: For Archaeologists, a Dream Find at Angkor Park – The Cambodia Daily

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[Lecture] Tantrism and State Formation in Southeast Asia

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Readers in Singapore may be interested in this lecture by Andrea Ancri at the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre on 14 August 2017.

Tantrism and State Formation in Southeast Asia

The socio-religious phenomenon we now call “Tantrism” dominated the religious and ritual life in much of South and Southeast Asia from around 500 CE to 1500 CE and beyond. Yet, the impact of Śaiva and Buddhist Tantric traditions on the societies and cultures of Southeast Asia remains insufficiently studied and appreciated. The talk will explore the indissoluble link between the State and Tantric ideologies/ritual systems in Southeast Asia. It will first deal with state formation, evaluating the theories of “man of prowess” and “Śaiva bhakti” elaborated by historian Oliver Wolters, then turn to the role of Tantric magic and ritual in the medieval maṇḍala polities of Sumatra, Java, and Cambodia. Finally, it will offer some concluding reflections on the link between politics, power, and the “supernatural” in modern Southeast Asia.

Source: Lecture: Tantrism and State Formation in Southeast Asia – ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute

NSC-ISEAS Visiting Fellowship in Buddhist Studies

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Visiting Fellowship position open in Singapore focusing on Buddhist archaeology in Southeast Asia. Deadline is 31 March 2016.


Visiting Fellowship at the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre of ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore

The Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre (NSC) of ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS) in Singapore pursues research on historical interactions among Asian societies and civilizations prior to the 17th century. NSC is now accepting applications for Visiting Fellowship positions from scholars at all ranks who wish to undertake research and writing under the following themes:

1. Buddhist History in Southeast Asia
2. Buddhist Links and Networks between Southeast Asia and other Asian countries
3. Buddhist Archaeology, Material Culture and Art in Southeast Asia

The Visiting Fellowship will be for one year, with a possibility of extension. Post-doctoral applicants are also welcome but should have graduated with a PhD no longer than three years prior to their successful appointment at NSC.

Commencement date will be from June 2016.
More details here.

Singapore-Cambodia Koh Ker Field School

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Applications are open for the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre Field School in Koh Ker, scheduled for December.

Koh Ker, Prasat Thom

Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre Archaeological Field School 2015
02-22 Dec 2015

Applications are being sought from students interested in pursuing a three week intensive program focused on culture, heritage and archaeology in Cambodia. The Field School will begin in Phnom Penh and conclude in Singapore. Students will participate in lectures, field training (survey, excavations, local respondent interviews), analysis, and site visits. Students will produce a final report and group presentation. Partial lodging and travel subsidies will be provided for 10 applicants (subject to change).

Applicants for the Field School should be enrolled in a postgraduate program or be in their final year of undergraduate study. Preferred fields of specialization include: archaeology, anthropology, heritage and culture, history, art history, and museum studies. Applicants should be citizens of East Asia Summit (EAS) countries. The 18 East Asia Summit countries are: Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, United States, and Vietnam. Language of instruction: English.

Full details here.

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Public Lecture: Buddhist Archaeology in Myanmar: International and Local Landscapes

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A public lecture by Prof. Elizabeth Moore on her work in Bagan.


Buddhist Archaeology in Myanmar: International and Local Landscapes
Elizabeth Moore
Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
13 April 2015, 3-4.30pm

With the 2014 UNESCO World Heritage inscription of the early Buddhist ‘Pyu Ancient Cities’, discussions are underway at the ‘Bagan Archaeological Area and Monuments’ included on the country’s Tentative List revised in 2014. Bagan’s arid environment, with less than 600 mm of rainfall per annum, has helped to preserve mural paintings in several hundreds of the thousands of brick structures of the ancient city. The temples and stupas are laid out across a broad floodplain between ranges on the opposite bank of the river and to the southeast. The traditional rural setting of the temples scattered between village fields has been sustained with cultivation of sugar palms, onions and beans relying on a delicate system of water management. There is the life of the Ayeyarwaddy River as well, with sand-cultivation and boats plying up and down at small jetties. Greening projects plus the infrastructure and water needs of expanding tourism have put increasing pressure on this extraordinary ecology and way of life. The living culture of Bagan includes at least 400 active monasteries. Bagan has a deep and long-lived significance as a pilgrimage destination, where the charitable donation underlying customary repair of pagodas often runs counter to international preservation norms. There is, in addition, the relationship of villages and monasteries to temple festivals and the most popular pilgrimage circuits. Both the rich archaeology and this living heritage of Bagan are part of current research as well heritage activities at international and local levels of Myanmar’s ancient landscapes.

More details here.

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Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre Fellowship Program

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Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre

Archaeological fellowship available – for two years, and possibly two years more. Deadline is 31 December 2014.

Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre

The Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre (NSC) of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) in Singapore, pursues research on historical interactions among Asian societies and civilizations prior to the 17th century.

The NSC-Archaeology Unit (NSC-AU) is now seeking to hire a Visiting Fellow/Visiting Senior Fellow in the field of archaeology or archaeology-related research (including, but not limited to, anthropological archaeology and historical archaeology). The successful applicant should be a specialist in pre-modern Mainland Southeast Asia, with demonstrated field experience and the ability to lead field work teams on excavation projects. The ability to articulate either an on-going project or a viable and substantive project proposal, as part of the application, is vital.

The position is for a period of two years, and renewable for another two years upon successful review at the end of the first contract. The fellowship is to be commenced any time from February 2015, but no later than July 2015.

More details here.