The Sub Champa Museum and the Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum

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Source: The Nation 20150627

Over the weekend the Nation featured two museums of archaeological interest in Thailand, the Sub Champa Museum in Lopburi and the Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum in Pathum Thani.

Source: The Nation 20150627

Source: The Nation 20150627

How our ancestors lived
The Nation, 28 June 2015

Two museums, one of Lop Buri, the other in Pathum Thani, pay testament to the ancient way of life

The historical parks of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai have long been attracting tourists, both Thai and foreign, yet the ancient Dvaravati resettlement of Sub Champa in Lop Buri province, itself a fascinating historical site, is barely known outside the area.

Located in the Lop Buri-Pasak valley and a mere two hours by car from Bangkok, Sub Champa is a moated site that was a thriving Dvaravati city more than a millennium ago as well as a major trading centre in the central highlands.

Run today by the Subdistrict Administrative Organisation, it is promoting itself as a prototype local learning centre, one that encapsulates the Sub Champa Historical Site, the Sub Champa Museum and the Sirindhorn White Champak Forest. The site was discovered quite by accident back in 1970 during a pest eradication inspection by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and excavation started soon afterwards with an impression collection of artefacts, skeletons and ruins unearthed over the years.

Full story here.

Remembering Roxanna Brown

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The UCLA International Institute posts a memorial for Roxanna Brown, the director of the Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum who died in prison last week under dubious circumstances.

Roxanna Brown, UCLA International

In Memoriam – Roxanna Maude Brown
UCLA International Institute, 20 May 2008

It is with deepest sadness that we mourn the untimely death on May 14, 2008 of UCLA Art History alumna Dr. Roxanna M. Brown, 62, world-renowned expert on SEA ceramics, curator of the Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum at Bangkok University and editor of their excellent newsletter. She died in Seattle reportedly of an infection brought on by a perforated ulcer while in federal custody on a very dubious indictment. She had gone to Seattle to present a paper on SEA ceramics at a conference co-sponsored by UCLA and the University of Washington.

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Reactions to museum director's death


This story from the Bangkok Post repeats most of the details already released before, but also includes some comments from Roxanna Brown’s colleagues. There’s a general feeling of shock, as well as dismay that there wasn’t an opportunity for the truth to emerge.

Prison death
Bangkok Post, 16 May 2008
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Bangkok University denies involvement in antiquities smuggling

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More news on Roxanna Brown’s arrest. Bangkok University, which is home to the Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum of which Brown is the director, denies any involvement in the antiques smuggling. At the same time, they have also said that they were never given any cause to suspect anything shady.

University art historian faces fraud charges
Bangkok Post, 14 May 2008
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Museum director indicted looted antiquities scandal

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This news is going to raise some eyebrows. Roxanna Brown, the director of the Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum in Thailand and a noted authority on Southeast Asian ceramics has been indicted in the recent case of looted artefacts from Southeast Asia.

Director of Thailand museum indicted in US probe into smuggled antiquities
The Star, 13 May 2008

Asian antiquities expert arrested
OC Register, 12 May 2008
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Ceramics expert to give lecture in South-East Asian Ceramics Society meeting

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14 July 2007 (The Star) – Noted ceramics expert Dr. Roxanna Brown from the South-East Asian Ceramics Museum in Bangkok will give a lecture about Shipwreck Ceramics and the Fall of Malacca on Saturday’s meeting if the West Malaysian chapter of the South-East Asian Ceramics Society. The article also outlines how ceramic finds from shipwrecks have helped us understand key points in ancient Southeast Asia’s history.

The Star, 14 July 2007

Reading shipwreck ceramics

Ancient shipwrecks with Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese ceramics are important in that they can tell us how maritime trade in South-East Asia had an impact on kingdoms like Sirivijaya, Angkor, Ayutthaya and Malacca.

According to Bangkok-based South-East Asian Ceramics Museums director, Dr Roxanna Brown, the ceramics offer an insight into how the maritime trade enriched these centres of development.

Based on the types of ceramics found, as well as excavation sites, a chronological order of trading activities, empire development, and even the building of temples like Angkor and Borobudur can be verified, said Dr Brown who will be delivering a lecture on Shipwreck Ceramics and the Fall of Malacca at the 31st annual general meeting of the South-East Asian Ceramics Society, West Malaysia Chapter on July 21 at Muzium Negara, Kuala Lumpur.

Dr Roxanna Brown’s lecture will be held from 2pm-6pm at Galeri 2, Muzium Negara, Kuala Lumpur. Registration: 1.30pm. The lecture is open to the public with a donation of RM30 to the society. Participants are allowed to bring a relevant antique ceramic each for identification. For details, e-mail:

Read more about Dr Roxanna Brown.

Books about Southeast Asian ceramics and shipwrecks:
Thai Ceramic Art by J. D. van Oenen and N. Guerin
Shipwrecks and Sunken Treasure in Southeast Asia by T. Wells
The Ceramics of Southeast Asia : Their Dating and Identification by R. M. Brown
Oriental trade ceramics in Southeast Asia, 10th to 16th century: Selected from Australian collections, including the Art Gallery of South Australia and the Bodor Collection by J. Guy
Southeast Asian Ceramics: Ninth through Seventeenth Centuries by D. F. Frasche