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  • 03August

    Asia swipes half of UNESCO's 2016 World Heritage sites

    Asia is now home to half of UNESCO's newly-inscriped sites, according to a recently-released list by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

    Some of these sites include the Archaeological Site of Ani located on the Asia half of Turkey and the Western Tien-Shan mountains which straddle the three Central Asian countires of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The mountain range, with a minimum altitude of 700m and a maximum of 4,503m, features diverse landscapes that are home to rich biodiversity.

    India is home to three sites: Nalanda Mahavihara, an archaeological site that dates back to 3BC; Khangchendzonga National Park, a sacred spot to the local Sikkim people; and Complexe du Capitole in Chandigarh, which is one out of the 17 sites worldwide that fall under the collective architecture of greative genius Chares-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris, better known as Le Corbusier.

    China and Iran have two sites each that made the cut. In China, they are Hubei Shennongjia, the largest primary forest containing rare species like the elusive Asian Black Bear; and Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Cultural Landscape, 38 rock paintings that depict the life of the bygone Luoyue people.

    In Iran, The Persian Qanat, an ancient underground irrigation channel that once provided the country with precious water; and the Lut Desert, with its otherworldy rock formations, were inscribed onto the list.

    Last but not least, war-torn Iraq is home to one collective UNESCO site, The Ahwar of Southern Iraq, which consists of three arcaheological areas and four wetland marshes in the southern part of the country.

    Elsewhere on the globe, newly inscribed sites include Canada;s Mistaken Pint, a 17km stretch of cliffs located on the south-east of Newfoundland that boast marine fossils formed more than 560million years ago; and Sanganeb Marin Ntional Park and Dungonab Bay, a marin hotspot with dugongs and manta rays, in Sudan.

    In total, there were 21 sites that were inscribed onto the UNESCO's World Heritage site list this years.


    More info : TTG Asia
  • 03August

    Kennie Ting appointed as new director of the Asian Civilisations Museum

    The National Heritage Board (NHB) has appointed Mr. Kennie Ting, 38, to take over a s director of the Asian Civilisations Museum(ACM), with effect from Sept 1. He will replace the museum's current director, Dr Alan Chong, who has been at the helm of the museum for the last six years.

    Mr Ting's career began at the former Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts(Mica), where he had a hand in drafting the Renaissance City Plan Ⅲ - a comprehensive blueprint for the arts and heritage sector. This plan helped to drive various national-level initiatives in the late 2000s, including the development of the National Gallery and the Singapore Night Festival.


    More info : The Straits Times
  • 01August

    Exploring India’s megalithic culture, a riddle set in stone

    What is the most strikingly common feature of prehistoric cultures, from the icy fjords of Norway to the tropical plains o Tamil Nadu?

    All of them, seemingly independently, struck upon the idea of erecting massive stone structures during the same era in history. These monumnets - yes, these are the earliest surviving man - made monuments we know of - are called megaliths, derived from the Katin mega (large) and lith (stone).

    Megaliths were constructed either as burial sites or commemorative (non-sepulchral) memorials. The former are sites with actual burial remains, such as dolmenoid cists(box-shaped stone burial chambers), cairn circles (stone circles with defined peripheries) and capstones (distinctive mushroom-shaped burial chambers found mainly in Kerala). The urn or the sarcophagus containing the mortal remains was usually made of terracotta. Non-sepulachral megaliths include memorial sites such as menhirs. (The line separating the two is a bit blurry, since remains have been discovered underneath otherwise non-sepulchral sies, and vice versa.)

    Taken together, these monumnets lend these disparate peoples the common traits of what we know as megalithic culture, one which lasted from the Neolithic Stone Age to the early Historical period (2500 BC to AD 22) across the world. In India, archaeologists trace the majority of the megaliths to the Iron Age (1500BC to 500 BC), though some sites precede the Iron Age, extending up to 2000BC.

    More info : Mint on Sunday
  • 29July

    Preserving Islamic arts for posterity

    The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia houses more than 7,000 artefacts and has an exceptional library of books on the subject. The objects on display range from the tiniest pieces of jewellery to one of the world's largest scale models of the Masjid Al Haram in Makkah. Besides having artefacts from Iran and the Middle East, IAMM puts emphasis on Asia, with China, Southeast Asia and India being accorded a special status. Other parts of the collection are displayed according to type rather than geographical origins in the museum's 12 galleries.

    Recently, the IAMM in collaboration with the Sharjah Museums Department, organised the exhibition "Rhythm and Verses Persian Calligraphy from the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia", which presents 38 single-page pieces of calligraphy from the 16th to the 19th century. This was the first time these ornate compositions were exhibited in the UAE.




    More info : Gulf News
  • 27July

    Ancient tomb unearthed in Hà Tĩnh

    A boat-shaped tomb made from a tree trunk dating back to the 13th century has just been discovered at a construction site in a mountainous area in the central province of Ha Tinh.

    The tomb was found at a depth of 3m in Ngan Truoi Hydro-electiricity Plant, in DucDong Commune, Duc Tho Disctrict.

    According to experts from the provincial museum, the tomb measures 1.9m in length and 0.4-0.5m in width. There is a black compound covering the inside of the tomb. Scientists also found some objects inside, including a ceramic bowl and an ancient coin.


    More info : Vietnam National Museum of History
  • 26July

    Treasures from Sinan shipwreck on view

    In August 1975, a fisherman landed an unusual catch off the west coast of Korea.

    In his fishing net were six ceramic vessels including celadons - or pottery made with celadon glaze- that date back to the 14th century Yuan Dynasty China. This promoted people to say that there must be a shipwreck with more prized relics buried deep in the muddy seabed off the island of Jeungdo, Sinan in South Jeolla Province.

    A year later, archaeologists launched an underwater salvage operation which continued until 1984. Korea's largest underwater excavation discovered some 24,000 pieces of artifacts that offer a look at the cultural exchange and maritime trade in East Asia.

    The items recovered from the shipwreck are on display to the public for the first time at the National Museum of Korea until Sept 4.

    More info : The Korea Herald
  • 25July

    UNESCO adds 21 new World Heritage sites

    Although the military coup in Istanbul cut short the 40th annual meeting of UNESCO's World Heritage Committe, officials still found time to designate 21 new World Heritage Sites - places of great cultural and/or natural significance - before wrapping up last Sunday.

    The list now totals 1,052 sites in 165 countries. This year's additions include 13 cultural sites, six natural ones and three "mixed," spread accross 28 nations. The United States, which already has 23 World Heritage inscriptions, was not among them, but all continents save Australia and Antarctica wsas represented.


    More info : San Francisco Chronicle
  • 25July

    The art — and science — behind treasured Japanese porcelain

    Porcelain connoisseurs have prized the traditional Japanese-style cermics called Akae, typlically known for Kakiemon-style ware, for centuries.

    Its paintings feature a vivid red color against a milky white background. Artisans have passed on their techniques to produce this type of percelain for generations, but these methods are poorly documented. Now scientists report in the journal ACS Applied & Interfaces a practical method for preparing red paints for high-quality akae.

    More info : Heritagedaily
  • 18July

    Revealed: Cambodia's vast medieval cities hidden beneath the jungle

    Archaeologists in Cambodia have found multiple, previously undocumented medieval cities not far from the ancient temple city of Ankor Wat, the Guardian can reveal, in groundbreaking discoveris that promise to upend key assumptions about South-east Asia's history.


    More info : The Guardian
  • 14July

    Gold Culture of Afghanistan exhibition opens in Seoul

    The National Museum of Korea launched on Tuesday a special exhibition of introducing 231 artifacts of the National Afghanistan Museum for the first time to Korea. Afghanistan connects to China to the East, Europe to the West, and India to the South, making it a hub of exchanges between civilizations from the past. The trace of such mix of culture is manifested in many parts of the exhibition.

    One example is the golden glass with geomatirc patterns discovered in the Tepe Fullol ancient ruins of 2000 B.C., which shows the influence of Mesopotamian and Indus civilizations. Greek letters are found on artifacts from Ai-Khanoum, which was established by Alexandros of Macedonia in 400 B.C. The Persian-style architecture discovered from the same area presents Hellenism culture, a combination of Greek and Oriental cultures.

    Antiques of Begram, the summer capital of the Kushan Dynasty, are also introduced. Begram was a capital of Kapisi, recorded by a Chinese monk in the 7th century. Glass, bronze, plaster, lacquerware of the 1st century found palace field are displayed.

    The Gold Culture of Afghanistan exhibitnion first started in 2006 at the Guimet Museum in Paris, followed by 11 other countries. The ancient ruins are being moved from one place to another, unable to go back to their homeland suffering from a civil war. Republic of Korea (South Korea) will be the 12th to host the exhibition, also commemorating a decade since its launch. The event will be open until September 4, and be continued at the Gyeongju National Museum from September 27 to November 27.

    More info : The Dong-a Ilbo
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