SPAFACON2024 Proposals

01 General Session
Email: conference@seameo-spafa.org

SPAFACON2024 welcomes all papers associated with the mandate of SEAMEO SPAFA - the archaeology, fine arts and cultural heritage of Southeast Asia. If a proposed paper does not fit into one of the sessions below, it will first be added into the general session. Papers in the general session may be grouped into themes at a later stage.


02 The Archaeology of Music in Southeast Asia
Convener: Arsenio Nicolas (Mahasarakam University)

This panel seeks papers on recent work on the archaeology of music in Southeast Asia. Topics may include musical and sound artefacts on land and maritime sites, and their connections with the rest of Asia; the intersection of research methodologies between music archaeology and the musicological and anthropological disciplines; as well as studies of ancient musical traditions as evidenced by these artefacts and their continuity in contemporary musical practices.

03 Celebrating Diversity on Stage: Performing Arts and Inclusive Empowerment of Special Educational Needs Learners in Southeast Asia
Convener: Suhaila Mohamad (Institute for Advanced Studies, Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

This session is dedicated to exploring the profound impact of performing arts on empowering learners with special educational needs (SEN) within the context of Malaysia. Against the backdrop of Malaysia's diverse cultural heritage, this session aims to explore the transformative connection between performing arts and enriched educational experiences, facilitating social inclusion for learners with SEN. The primary objective of this session is to provide a platform for the exchange of inventive strategies, best practices, inspiring success stories and empirical insights, showcasing the pivotal role of performing arts in fostering inclusivity, self-expression and comprehensive development among SEN learners in Malaysia.

04 Studying the Present to Understand the Past: Ethnoarchaeology and Experimental Archaeology in Southeast Asia
Convener: Rhayan Gatbonton Melendres (University of the Philippines)

The study of connections between human behavior and its contemporary material effects is known as ethnoarchaeology. It creates a connection between the present and past human behavior found in the archaeological record. Specifically, ethnoarchaeology is doing ethnographic fieldwork among extant societies to address archaeological questions and interpretations. On the other hand, experimental archaeology is a field of archaeology where experiments are conducted to attempt to generate and test archaeological hypotheses, usually by replicating or approximating the behavior of ancient people and cultures performing various tasks or activities. This session will focus on studies that employ ethnoarchaeology and experimental archaeology as research strategy and methodology in Southeast Asia in the fields of pottery, stone tools, baskets, textiles, and other specialist craft production and specialization, subsistence, settlement patterns, architecture, trade and exchange, and mortuary practices.

05 Maritime Trade - Southeast Asia and Beyond
Convener: Alex Lew Wen Jie (Chulalongkorn University)

Maritime trade has played a pivotal role in facilitating cultural exchange among societies. Since the sixteenth century, the advent of the Great Age of Discovery and the gradual formation of global trade networks have made the coastal regions of Asia a dynamic hubs for maritime trade. The commercial activities between China and Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia, and other regions along the west coast of the Pacific, together with the trade between the Pacific and Indian Ocean, and the trade between the west coast of the Pacific and Latin America, have collectively constituted a gigantic trading network with Asia at its center. This network intersects and connects at numerous points, forming a vibrant tapestry of cultural intercommunication and mutual appreciation of civilizations between China and Asian neighbors and beyond.

06 A Historical Study of the Healing Service of the Buddhist Monasteries of Northern Bengal with special reference to the Sompura Mahavihara and adjoining regions
Convener: Tuli Guha Majumder (Lecturer, Dept. Of Archaeology, Jahangirnagar University,Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh)

Buddhist monasticism places significant importance on the healing service. There is much information on healing in the body of canonical literature. The following article aims to shed some insight into the practice of Bengal Buddhist monasteries' healing services and their effects, particularly in light of the Sompura Maha Vihara of Nagaon. According to R. S. Sharma, the Buddhist monastic activity from around 300 CE to 1000 CE was an exploitation structure at the price of rural growth and urban blight (Sharma, 1987: 122 131). In the absence of formal political control, the Buddhist monasteries' rightful claim to authority over the local Pala monarch's subjects is made more evident by the healthcare they provide. The Buddhist monasteries essentially became an ally of the temporal power through the healing service. Between 600 CE and 1200 CE, it obtained the approval of local subjects to implement numerous regulations required for the sedentary monks' way of life and, in exchange, provided free medical care to the local subjects of the political power in the area of Northern Bengal. While numerous studies have been on Buddhism in Bengal, the focus has often been on broader aspects of the religion or historical developments. Specific therapeutic beliefs and practices within the context of Buddhist monasteries have not been extensively explored. There is a paucity of modern research that delves into the types of healing techniques used, the roles of Buddhist monks and nuns as practitioners, and the perceived effects of these practices on individuals within the monastic community. By addressing this research gap, we can gain a deeper understanding of the therapeutic heritage of Bengal's Buddhist monasteries and contribute to the existing body of knowledge on traditional healing practices.

07 New perspectives on archaeology, art history and cultural heritage conservation in Vietnam: views from the field researches and museum collection-based studies
Convener: Hoàng Anh Tuấn (History Museum-Ho Chi Minh City) and Trần Kỳ Phương (VN Association of Archaeological Studies)

Over the last few decades, there have been several new archaeological findings in Vietnam. A large number of the artifacts have been found in the various archaeological sites and distributed to local museums later on; those are displaying and preserving at those provincial museums.

Although these masterpieces appeal to the audience with a taste for antiques, they harbor secret of their own past waiting to be discovered. This session is aimed at engaging scholars who are studying on the fields of archaeology, art history; or sharing information and approaches to these masterpieces from different points of view. Moreover, traditional wooden architecture is also one of the types of tangible heritage reflecting socio-cultural aspects in the past, but it has not yet attracted much attention from scholars, such as Vietnamese traditional wooden architecture was constructed from the 18th to the early 20th century. The heritages of traditional wooden architecture are seriously damaged by time that need to be preserved urgently. It is also seeking the sharing of scientific ideas from scholars in this issue.

08 The Cult of Avalokiteśvara Across Both Maritime and Land Silk Routes
Convener: Huang Lele (School of Foreign Languages, Peking University), Chhum Menghong (Cambodia National Commission for UNESCO, Cambodia) and Yokoyama Miku (Waseda University, Japan)

Avalokiteśvara (Deity who looks down) is a Bodhisattva who is believed to have made a great vow to assist sentient beings in times of difficulty and to postpone his own Buddhahood until he has assisted every sentient being in achieving nirvana. Maritime and land Silk Routes, originally for trading with different regions and countries, played a vital role in connecting the different parts of the world together. Along with the spread of Buddhism, the Cult of Avalokiteśvara was transmitted from India to other Asian countries and regions by both sea and road. Avalokiteśvara becomes the most important deity and is popularized throughout Southeast and East Asian counties. Even though this Bodhisattva is considered as the embodiment of compassion, it is represented in different ways that vary from country to country, culture to culture. For instance, in Southeast countries like Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, etc., this Bodhisattva was closely associated with the kingship. Differently, in China, this deity was not connected with royalty but considered a “Goddess of Mercy”. Hence, this paper is going to examine the cult of Avalokiteśvara, and artistic change across the Southeast Asian and East Asian countries, to investigate the transformations of Avalokiteśvara and the localization of Buddhism in different countries.

It maps and reconstructs the cultural and intellectual exchanges among the different countries via maritime and land silk routes in ancient times, and helps to disclose and understand the socio-cultural-religious incorporations between a foreign and a native culture.

09 Exploring Vernacular Architecture: A canvas of Murals
Convener:Sonam Dolma and Garima Singh (Deccan College)

Vernacular architecture is a vibrant tapestry of indigenous building traditions that reflect the cultural, historical, and environmental contexts of a particular geographic area. The integration of murals in such iconic architecture often serves as visual narratives of the community's identity and heritage. The murals exemplify the profusion of symbolism and cultural significance, frequently serving as a medium for recounting historical events that have been mostly forgotten over time. This session will embark on a fascinating journey to explore the intricate relationship between vernacular architecture and the murals housed in it and the challenges encountered due to preservation issues that are inherent to sensitive artworks as well as the damages resulting from recent climatic shifts both to the structure and the paintings. Also, we can delve into challenges faced by many of such iconic buildings which are losing their importance in an urban environmental setting. The theme also has the potential to elicit scholarly papers discussing the importance of preserving and documenting vernacular architecture and associated folklores to such invaluable assets. The purpose of this session is to explore the diverse architectural styles found across the world in different time and space, comprehend their historical and cultural relevance, and to recognize the incorporation of local traditions, beliefs, and stories which imbue these structures with substantial value. Such presentations could showcase the distinctive attributes and artistic elements of each secular/ religious buildings. Vernacular architecture is often shaped by factors such as climate, locally available resources etc. Consequently, the presence of murals composed of non-local materials can indicate exterior trade connections, thereby contributing a diverse dimension to the subject matter. Moreover, it is possible to implement strategies that promote global initiatives and diverse methodologies aimed at safeguarding and reviving cultural heritage of such monuments. The proposed session will foster collaboration and interactivity, a learning experience that will encourage a diverse array of knowledgeable experts, archaeologist, architects, artists, ethnographers etc., who usually work with local artists or professionals in order to facilitate the demonstration of such painting techniques. This inquiry aims to explore the multifaceted dimensions of housing murals within vernacular architecture, spanning cultural, social, and economic considerations.

10 Multi-disciplinary Research on Cultural Connection in Mainland Southeast Asia and its Applications
Convener:Surat Lertlum (CRMA Research Center) and Im Sokrithy (APSARA Authority)

This panel will focus on multi-disciplinary research into the commonalities in society, ideology, religion, art and culture that potentially existed in Mainland Southeast Asia from Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Cultural, social and ideological connections have been identified from the Palaeolithic onwards, and are manifest in the types of material culture recorded across the region, as well as the emergence and diversification of burial traditions. Recent research has indicated that both ‘local’ and long-distance trading and exchange networks likely existed from the Late Pleistocene, there is still a substantial amount that we don’t yet understand about the relationships between communities across Mainland Southeast Asia (MSEA). We invite multi-disciplinary research papers centred on identifying and interpreting communication networks and cultural relationships between the various regions of MSEA in the past. This panel is aimed bringing together practitioners in the hope of enhancing our knowledge of the long-term interactions between human populations. In addition, this panel is also opened for the papers about the applications from the multi-disciplinary research in Mainland Southeast Asia. In many cases, the research has been producing outstanding activities for the local people in the area, such as educational programs, tourism activities, etc.

11 ‘Building’ Bridges and ‘Breaking’ Barriers: Actualistic studies and Experimental Archaeology in South and Southeast Asia
Convener:Akash SRINIVAS (Centre for Interdisciplinary Archaeological Research, Ashoka University, India), Andrea Dominique Cosalan (School of Archaeology, University of the Philippines-Diliman, Philippines), Yezad Pardiwalla (Palaeo-Arch Lab, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Mohali, India)

Actualistic and experimental studies hold a profound place within the Middle Range Theoretical paradigm in archaeology. By undertaking various controlled studies in contemporary contexts, a nuanced understanding of processes is obtained. These processes, responsible either for the creation or preservation of the archaeological record, as seen today, help us situate the static archaeological record within the dynamic socio-environmental and cultural context of their manufacture, use, discard and preservation, eventually resulting in their recovery by archaeologists. In this session, we seek contributions that situate themselves within the range of actualistic and experimental studies that can help contribute towards a better understanding of the South and Southeast Asian archaeological record, ranging from stone tool knapping experiments, functional analyses of tools, studies related to site formation processes, and modern-day reconstructions of various cultural elements (ranging from tool making, metal smelting and manufacture, ceramic traditions, boat-building and structural constructions, amongst others) geared towards addressing archaeological inquiries. Through this session, we hope to build bridges, across time and space, by exploring the many interconnections between the archaeological records of South and Southeast Asia, and the modern-day contexts of archaeologists working in these regions.

12 Redefining and Reimagining Cultural Heritage and Artifacts: Bridging South Asia and Southeast Asia
Convener:Imran Shabir (Department of Archaeology, University of Balochistan, Quetta-Pakistan), Abira Bhattacharya (National Museum Dehli, India)

The panel proposes to deliberate upon the growing significance of the preservation and representation of cultural heritage and artefacts in the South and Southeast Asian spheres, through the lens of interdisciplinary approaches, involving- art history, archaeology, museological and ethnographic studies. The theme highlights the unique historical and cultural treasures in these regions, which are visual imprints of the rich archaeological legacies through the ages that transcended borders and connected areas and people. It delves into the shared challenges and collaborative efforts necessary to safeguard and promote these invaluable assets. By bridging the gap between South and Southeast Asia, the panel endeavours to foster a deeper appreciation for the diverse archaeological heritage that unites these geographically distinct yet culturally intertwined areas.

This panel seeks to present ongoing interdisciplinary research on subjects dealing with the heritage management, and preservation of the diverse archaeological sites in South Asia and Southeast Asia and also intends to throw light on the understanding of the artefacts explored and excavated from these sites in the museum context from a fresh perspective of de-colonialized museum practices, while using art-historical methods. Through research, conservation, and international cooperation, we aim to ensure that the treasures of the past continue to inspire and educate future generations while fostering a greater understanding of our shared history.

13 Discoveries and Research on Ceramics, Craft Production, Circulation and Consumption in Southeast Asia and Other Regions
Convener:Wong Wai-yee, Sharon (The Chinese University of Hong Kong), DO Truong Giang, Alex (Institute of Imperial Citadel Studies, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, Hanoi,) and CHHAY Rachna (APSARA National Authority)

This panel focuses on sharing the new discoveries and research on ceramics from archaeological sites, museum collections, scientific analysis, ethnographic investigation, archival research, experimental field study, and machine learning to reveal the unknown patterns of ceramic artifacts in archaeological data in Southeast Asia and other regions. Ceramics is very commonly investigated or excavated from archaeological sites and those that have been circulated across the sea between neighbouring regions. It is an essential (trans-)cultural carrier to understanding (cross-)craft production, circulation and consumption in Southeast Asia archaeology. This session discusses applying various theoretical frameworks, methodologies and analytical tools to study ceramics produced for domestic consumption, circulation within the region and consumption in the destination through the long-distance trade route by land and sea. We also look for papers discussing the issues of imported ceramic identification and classification from the neighbouring regions and the functions of ceramic vessels from ethnoarchaeological data in Southeast Asia and surrounding regions.

14 The archaeology of traded luxury goods in Southeast Asia
Convener: Pauline Basilia (Far Eastern University, Manila) and Jada San Andres (University of the Philippines)

Despite their lack of utilitarian function, luxury goods continue to be traded across oceans and communities. The non-utilitarian value of objects are associated with socioeconomic (as luxury goods), sociocultural (as prestige goods), or in cosmological settings (as ritual objects). The difficulty in obtaining raw materials (e.g., accessibility or through trade) and the amount of time and skills required to create these objects could lend value to luxury goods. These objects may also represent status and cultural associations. Lastly, the intended function of trade goods can be altered in ritual settings or as grave goods.

While not all traded goods are prestige or luxury goods, and prestige goods can be locally manufactured, the role that trade plays in the transformation of landscapes through interactions and exchange of luxury goods has yet to be fully understood. This session welcomes research on prestige or luxury goods that have arrived in communities through trade and exchange. Topics could include raw material sourcing and manufacturing techniques, reconstructing trade networks between manufacturing and consumer communities, the acquisition and incorporation of goods into consumer communities (including interpretations of lifeways), and related research of any timeframe. Our aim is to collate research to build a holistic understanding of how manufacturing and consumer communities are transformed by the arrival, acquisition, and acceptance of traded luxury goods.

15 The Updated Archaeological Finds and Chronology of Myanmar
Convener: Kyaw Oo Lwin and Mie Mie Khaing (Department of Archaeology and National Museum, Ministry of Religious Affairs and Culture)

Myanmar boasts a profound and enduring cultural history, characterized by a remarkable continuity that has upheld the integrity of the nation-state. Evidence of human habitation on Myanmar's soil dates back millions of years, with archaeological discoveries spanning various epochs, from the Paleolithic and Mesolithic eras to the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. Abundant artifacts and structural remnants from the historic Pyu kingdoms and cities further enrich the country's archaeological tapestry.

The wealth of cultural treasures found throughout Myanmar encompasses ancient cities, former palace sites, venerable cultural monuments, historical edifices, terracotta artifacts, stone inscriptions, palm-leaf manuscripts, and invaluable relics that serve as irrefutable testaments to Myanmar's opulent cultural heritage. Indeed, Myanmar's cultural components—literature, performing arts, a diverse array of artistic crafts, architectural wonders, and unwavering devotion to Theravada Buddhism—have not only endured but thrived for over a millennium. This remarkable cultural continuity has been faithfully preserved through the generations, tracing its roots from the early Pyu civilization to the present, akin to a single ancestral tree bearing countless fruitful branches. The papers from Myanmar will enhance our understanding by sharing recent fieldwork, well-supported evidence, research findings, and insights from diverse sources. They will also disseminate the results of recent fieldwork, substantiated evidence, and research findings.

16 Current status and development direction of underwater cultural heritage conservation science in Southeast Asia
Convener: Young-Hwa Jung (National Research Institute of Maritime Cultural Heritage, Republic of Korea), Rachelle Anne Geline P. Ureta (National Museum of the Philippines) and Monchalus Pitisinchoochai (The Fine Arts Department, Thailand)

The main topic of this session will be the conservation science and technology of underwater cultural heritage in Southeast Asia. Materials of underwater cultural heritage can be broadly divided into wood, iron, ceramics, bronze, etc. The state of preservation of artifacts is also bound to vary depending on the underwater environment, burial location, and characteristics of the burial site. The conservation method of artifacts is determined based on the material, preservation condition, etc., and basic conservation manuals are well prepared and shared. However, applying this conservation method to artifacts requires a lot of experience and skill acquisition. The materials of the excavated artifacts vary, but are not the same in all countries. A certain country or region may have a lot of pottery, and another region may have a lot of wood. In these situations, it is not easy to maintain the same conservation technology. In this session, we will present technologies and conservation cases applied to the conservation of underwater cultural heritage discovered through underwater excavations in each country in Southeast Asia, and discuss areas of cooperation and future directions.

17 Cultural Appropriation in the Process of Globalization: Handicrafts, Indigenous Knowledge and their role in Sustainable Development
Convener: Tran Hoai (School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Vietnam National University, Hanoi) and Đinh Hồng Hải (Department of Anthropology, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Hanoi)

Cultural appropriation is a term that is hotly discussed today, and opinions are divided fiercely. Who is appropriating from whom? Who really owns the rights to cultural properties? What complicates cultural appropriation? To answer these questions, we need to place culture in a globalized context with a global hierarchy of values. But now it’s slipping into “stealth and guile,” “crafty at work,” and “boredom and stealth” (Michael Herzfeld’s terms), a tactic for cheap tourism services. Through these new tactics, artisans (key players in preserving indigenous knowledge) suddenly become people of different status, working to turn traditional crafts into inexpensive tourist products. More notably, governments and tourism businesses are increasingly investing in economic development in this direction. The United Nation’s Eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) do not set specific goals for cultural sustainability. Are we ignoring or forgetting the role of culture? This panel hopes to find answers for people and cultural groups who are marginalized in the process of globalization. Vietnam is the 15th most populous country in the world and has many traditional and non-traditional handicraft villages that make great contributions to the national economy. If the tourism economy is developed without regard to cultural sustainability, how Vietnam get rid of the “middle-income” nearly two decades ago? Answering this question for Vietnam is also a way to send a message to the UN and many other governments calling for a renewed focus on cultural sustainability. Only in this way can the problem of cultural appropriation in the context of globalization be properly resolved. A comparative perspective on Vietnam is necessary, drawing from countries in Southeast Asia like Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Singapore. With that in mind, the panel is looking for scholars who specialize in Vietnam and Southeast Asia to contribute their research.

18 Southeast Asian Bioarchaeology in Global Perspective
Convener: Stacey Ward (Australian National University), Natasha Heap (Southern Queensland University), Naruphol Wangthongchaicharoen (Silpakorn University)

Bioarchaeology is an anthropological subdiscipline concerned with reconstructing lifeways from human remains recovered from archaeological contexts. Research in this field has traditionally been conducted from a biocultural perspective, which emphasises hypothesis-driven, population-level investigations of human health and behaviour. However, recent syntheses of theoretical and methodological developments in bioarchaeology have identified a renewed focus on social theory in this discipline, resulting in a proliferation of interpretative frameworks aimed at exploring lived experiences in the past. Concurrent advances in analytical methods and technologies are also providing new insights into how these experiences shape health at the cellular, individual, community, and regional levels, shedding new light on key biosocial processes such as human frailty and mortality. Together, these theoretical and methodological advances are enabling bioarchaeologists to address research themes of global importance, such as climate change, social inequality, human adaptation, mobility, and identity, in more nuanced, culturally situated, and meaningful ways. To situate Southeast Asian bioarchaeology within global bioarchaeology discourse and highlight the unique and paradigm-changing contributions this region continues to make to the field, this session showcases recent bioarchaeological research addressing research themes of broad international significance from a Southeast Asian perspective. These themes include, but are not limited to, climate change, social inequality, human adaptation, mobility, and identity. We particularly welcome researchers engaging with the osteological paradox, infant and maternal health, and social mechanisms of adaptation. It is hoped that this showcase will identify future research directions, providing a foundation for the future development of bioarchaeology.

19 Early Modern Entanglements: Archaeology, Heritage, and History in Southeast Asia
Convener: Stephen B. Acabado (UCLA), Earl John Hernandez (UCLA Archaeology IDP) and Madeleine Yakal (UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology)

Intense and rapid anthropogenic changes during the early modern period in Southeast Asia formed an interwoven tapestry of historical and cultural complexities. As both a landscape and seascape of cross-cultural exchanges and enduring legacies of colonialism, early modern Southeast Asia plays a critical role in understanding heritage and identity. By linking past and present human-environment interactions, early modern Southeast Asia provides an interplay of the persisting implications of colonial policies and processes today. This panel explores the pivotal roles of archaeology, heritage, and history in examining indigenous responses to colonialism through transdisciplinary collaboration and community engagement.

The increasing awareness of archaeologists joining forces with other related disciplines with diverse backgrounds and expertise pushes for transformative collaborative innovations in theoretical and methodological approaches that facilitate a holistic and multivocal examination of remnants and far-reaching impacts of colonialism in Southeast Asia. Transdisciplinary collaboration breaks disciplinary boundaries to deepen the exchange of ideas, methodologies, and interpretations in piecing together multifaceted realities of social, cultural, political, historical, and environmental complexities in Southeast Asia. Engagement with local communities and stakeholders provides a reevaluation of theoretical and methodological traditions in archaeology. Community engagement recognizes the importance that indigenous/local communities play in shaping knowledge co-production. As integral stakeholders of their own heritage, engaging with communities promotes the incorporation of indigenous/local voices in the research and interpretation of findings.

We invite papers on archaeology, heritage, and history in early modern Southeast Asia that underscore transdisciplinary approaches and community engagement. Scholars, researchers, and students are invited to contribute papers that bridge the boundaries of archaeology to other disciplines emphasizing the significance of community involvement and transdisciplinary approaches in examining indigenous responses to colonialism, heritage, and identity."

20 Cebuano Cultural Heritage
Convener: Heideliza Batausa (Foundation University)

Our proposed session will delve into elements of Cebuano culture such as music, cultural identity preservation, as well as traditional community water resources. The island province of Cebu is in the middle part of the Philippines; in a group of islands called Visayas. It boasts of having the oldest Spanish settlement created by the conqueror or explorer Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in April 1565, predating Manila. Cebu, with its Visayan language, always wants to have its own distinct identity, apart from Metro Manila and the rest of the country. Our first paper talks about traditional community water resources in upland Cebu City. The second paper makes an attempt of reviewing the history of Visayan or Cebuano popular music from 1980 to 2020. The last paper deals with Gabii sa Kabilin (Heritage Night), which is a very innovative way of preserving Cebuano heritage and culture, that is, doing it at night.

21 The Paleo-Metallic Burial Site in Southeast Asia
Convener: Lutfi Yondri (National Research and Innovation Agency of Indonesia) and Putri Taniardi

Paleo-metallic burial Sites in Southeast Asia represent significant ancient burial culture in the region. This provides invaluable insight into the socio-cultural, technological, and economic aspects of society in the past.

Archaeologically, paleo-metallic burial sites consist of funerary activities, dating back thousands of years ago, marked by metal artifacts that are in the same context as human skeletal finds. These remains will certainly offer various views related to humans and cultures that developed in the past. Metal objects found in the same context as human skeletons include weapons and jewelry made from metal or other materials that were included in burial processes. Overall, burial activities in the paleo-metal era not only reflect culture, spiritual, and social, but also trade and exchange values, which are marked by various artifacts that are concluded to be not local products, such as beads made of stone, terracotta, glass, and precious metals. The presence of rare and exotic materials at burial sites suggests networks of trade and exchange.

Paleo-metal burial sites offer a wide range of knowledge about the past. This not only enriches our knowledge of metallurgical practices but also provides a glimpse into the complex societies and cultures that developed in Southeast Asia during a crucial period in human history.

This session will elaborate on the paleo-metal burial sites in Southeast Asia, both those found in mainland Southeast Asia such as in Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, as well as in archipelagic regions such as Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Philippines, and Timor-Leste.

22 Languages and State Formation in Mainland Southeast Asia
Convener: Hunter Watson (Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia, Mahidol University), Pipad Krajaejun (Thammasat University)

The formation and development of ancient states in Mainland Southeast Asia is a topic of interest among scholars of the region’s early history. Various hypothetical models have been proposed, which have been criticized using evidence of cultures and social practices which do not fit neatly into cultural classifications. The historical frameworks for understanding ancient Southeast Asia were proposed by colonial-era scholars, who viewed the region through the lens of European notions of kingdoms and empires, borders, and armed conflicts for control of territory and resources. Today, such perspectives are considered as being too narrow, and not best representing the multi-faceted nature of socio-political conditions which existed. Scholars largely concur that the notion of empires does not help to further our understandings of the region’s past; some believe the maṇḍala model might be a more appropriate description of political areas, yet it likewise does not explain all ancient urban centers and highland communities.

Languages and the ancient writing system from South Asia, as well as local language, were among the primary factors influencing the formation of early states in Southeast Asia. However, these languages are not often regarded as significant conduits for the assimilation of various communities with a state structure. Continued research on ancient languages and cultures of Mainland Southeast Asia has helped raise additional instances which can be weighed against hypotheses regarding state development. Speakers in this panel will present their research on ancient sites or cultural units across Mainland Southeast Asia, relating their findings back to the topic of state formation and development. Following presentations, panelists will discuss the implications of their research and how new findings help advance or challenge earlier models of state formation, as well as the importance of languages, for understanding ancient cultural and political change in Mainland Southeast Asia.

23 The Forgotten Common Thread: Tracing the Trail of Batik Painting in Southeast Asia
Convener: Zulfi Hendri (Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta), Kharisma Creativani (National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Taiwan)

This study delves into the often-overlooked realm of batik painting in Southeast Asia, unraveling the rich tapestry of its history and cultural significance. "The Forgotten Common Thread: Tracing the Trail of Painted Batik in Southeast Asia" embarks on a journey through time and across diverse landscapes to explore painted batik’s intricate artistry and enduring heritage. Through meticulous research and analysis, this study unveils the evolution of painted batik, shedding light on its regional variations, techniques, and the stories it conveys. Moreover, it examines the contemporary relevance of this ancient craft, its role in cultural preservation, and its potential for fostering intercultural exchanges. As the threads of history weave through each stroke of paint on fabric, this exploration underscores the enduring beauty and cultural resonance of painted batik in Southeast Asia.

24 Geography and Ancient Socio-cultural Contexts in Mainland Southeast Asia
Convener: Károly Belényesy (King St. Stephen Museum, Székesfehérvár, Hungary) and Hunter Watson (Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia, Mahidol University)

This panel brings together current studies of Mainland Southeast Asian archaeology through emphasis on geographic assessment. Mapping and remote sensing techniques provide a means to compile and assess archaeological data with geographic aspects. This includes for instance the characterization of archaeological landscapes, geographic features, the distribution of sites and artifactual remains, as well as human impacts on natural landscapes through infrastructure projects like roads, bridges, dams, and quarries. The characterization of landscapes and particular elements of landscapes reveal aspects pertaining to anthropogenic environments and historical networks of contact and exchange. The key is proper identification, recognition, and appropriate remote sensing of landscape elements.

The geographic distribution of landscape elements and archaeological remains aid in assessing not only archaeological areas but also socio-cultural networks. The objectives of this panel are to address the means by which to identify, measure, and analyze such geographic elements and archaeological remains; to address implications in terms of function, periodization, or related lines of inquiry; and to discuss ideal methodological practices of recognizing sites and features distinguishable as historical landmarks. The goal of this panel is to present current studies and cases of the practical application of geographic assessment and remote sensing techniques for archaeological research.

25 The NMP after the Pandemic: Recent Studies
Convener: MARY JANE LOUISE A. BOLUNIA (NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE PHILIPPINES)

The National Museum of the Philippines, the cultural agency mandated by law to protect the national patrimony of the country did not stop its research and other activities even during the pandemic. Museum researchers from the different curatorial divisions like Archaeology, Ethnology, Arts and Built Heritage continued its work, producing new research outputs, exhibitions and/or publications.

We would like to share the results of our work with others as well as find out how these can further be developed or enhanced. Instead of focusing mainly on the disciplinal divide, collaborations among the researchers of the NMP as well as other cultural agencies have been done to come up with new studies/results. These can be seen in the collaborative researches engaged in by archaeologists and ethnologists on one hand, and archaeologists engaged with architects and engineers in another like conservation of built heritage. Studies between ethnologists and architects have also been made. Central to this collaborations would be the protection and preservation of Philippine heritage which has been given more attention with NMP supervising the reconstruction and restoration of structures damaged by natural calamities. Another endeavor that NMP is actively participating in together with other agencies, is the nomination of archaeological sites to the UNESCO World Heritage List. This is another avenue that we are pursuing together to further strengthen heritage conservation.

26 Filling the Gaps: Updates on the archaeology of maritime exchange in Southeast Asia from 8th to 10th century
Convener: Timothy James Vitales (National Museum of the Philippines)

The period between the 8th and 10th century is generally considered the beginning of the “Early Age of Commerce” (Wade 2009) or the “Asian Sea Trade Boom” (Wisseman Christie 1998) in Southeast Asia. While there have already been substantial studies of this historical period on the maritime trade and sociocultural life in the Indonesian region (through Sri Vijaya and Java), and Mainland Southeast Asia (e.g. Champa), this session is also interested in learning more about the recent developments of these studies and, most especially, the maritime exchanges and interactions from other Southeast Asian regions. This session therefore aims to invite research papers on the updates in the archaeology of Southeast Asia from the 8th to 10th century. Furthermore, this session also aims to invite research collaborations to further explore this interesting but less-understood historical period.

27 Applying analytical methodologies to archaeological materials in Southeast Asia
Convener: Mélissa Cadet (Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, Taipei) and Emily Miyama (Institute for the Study of Ancient Civilizations and Cultural resources Kanazawa University)

For several decades now, analytical techniques have been developed and adapted to the study of a large variety of archaeological artefacts; from ceramics, metals, glass or organic materials to DNA analysis, passing by dating techniques. Indeed, scientific analysis revealed to be powerful tools and complementary approaches to obtain data at the object scale or for large dataset that are not possible through typological or historical, textual documentations only. This session is open to every type of analytical techniques applied to archaeological materials in Southeast Asia. Permitting to discuss advances and future research in the region concerning archaeometric studies that bring a growing interest among researchers nowadays.

28 Digital museological approaches towards archiving/reversing wartime cultural collateral damage in mainland Southeast Asia
Convener: Alan POTKIN (Centers for Southeast Asian Studies + Burma/Myanmar Studies, Northern Illinois U., USA) and Catherine RAYMOND (Northern Illinois U., USA)

Our proposed presentation's demonstrable learning objectives, as actually used in our previous cultural conservation + museological projects include:

I. Photoshop —or similar image editing apps— for practicably reconstructing otherwise-irreparable 2D art objects: most notably, reverse glass painting (""RGPs""), by means of dedicated large-format digital inkjet devices capable of printing on the backs of new clear panes.

II. Digital projection hardware/software for restoring + replicating damaged, deteriorated, or intentionally destroyed temple frescoes or murals; including —as required— entire four-wall interiors of demolished structures.

III. Quick Response (""QR"") glyphs/codes for facilitating extended visitor access to interpretive materials at museums, historical sites/archaeological excavations, and landscape/waterscape ""viewsheds""; and similarly deploying navigable stitched cylindrical VR panoramas." "I. The Ho Phrakeo Temple (HPK) in Vientiane, erected in the 1650s as the Lao Lanexang Kingdom's royal monastery, was twice destroyed by invading Siamese forces: in 1778 and in 1818. The third reconstruction during the late colonial era —based on extensive 1930s imaging of the ruins— was conceived as a national museum of Lao art and archaeology. When finally opened to the public well after the close of the Second Indochina War (1961-1975), its unintended primary use was as a venue for paying homage to the stolen Emerald Buddha image: in the Grand Palace of Bangkok since the mid-19th Century, and the ""palladium"" of the ruling Chakri dynasty of Thailand. But HPK 's floorplan is inconsistent with both museological and liturgical functions; there's nearly no interpretive materials; and most conservation practices were pitiful. Engaged by the US Embassy (under the US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation) to undo deficiencies, we were stymied by fraught Lao-Thai politics.

29 Archaeology of Early Hoabinhian in Mainland Southeast Asia
Convener:Thanh Pham Son (Institute of Archaeology, Hanoi, Vietnam) and Ben Marwick (University of Washington)

Hoabinhian peoples in mainland Southeast Asia. This is an important topic because of the vast span of time it covers, and how this technology connects the first hominin occupants through to the first villagers and farmers. Some of the new hypotheses about the Hoabinhian have stimulated debates about the location of its origin, its relationship with ecological niches, and its temporal range and dynamics. The purpose of this session is to share new information relating to these debates that have accumulated through field and archival research throughout the region in recent years. We also hope to simulate productive new directions and generate new hypotheses to motivate future research.

30 The Missing Jigsaw of Indo-Pacific Maritime Trade Route: Revealed Archaeological and Historical Narrative of the Outstanding Significance of Sathing Phra/Songkhla
Convener: Pipad Krajaejun (Foundation for Songkhla towards World Heritage), Chanin Sakarin, Wasin Tubwong

This multi-disciplinary session aims to bring scholars and professionals including historians, archaeologists, architects, natural scientists and etc. who have been working in Sathing Phra Peninsula and associated areas along the coastal areas from China to India to share their recent discovery on the respective professionals and background. Sathing Phra Peninsula where Songkhla is located is recognised as one of the port stations or towns along the maritime trade route especially since 17th century. However, the settlements, towns or city states emerged and developed in this peninsula play a significant role in the historical and archaeological studies of Southeast Asia and along the Indo-Pacific maritime route in much earlier period. Therefore, the session provides a stage for those to propose, exchange and discuss their recent research, studies and experience on Sathing Phra peninsula, Songkhla and other related areas, settlements, towns and city states which testify the importance of Sathing Phra/Songkhla in a global/regional contexts.

31 Reflection to SDGs from Heritage Perspective: Inclusivity, Resilience, Protection and Management of Cultural Landscape of Lagoon Settlements in Songkhla, Southeast Asia and Beyond
Convener:Yongthanit Pimonsathean, Chanin Sakarin (Foundation of Songkhla towards World Heritage), Hatthaya Siriphatthanakun (SEAMEO SPAFA)

The lagoon settlement is one of the living cultural landscapes which is of important as a representation of the interrelation of human and its natural environment. Due to their geographical and strategical settings, most lagoon settlements emerged and had evolved to be port stations/areas or towns since the ancients. They have played a tremendous role in international trade and commerce until present days. As such these lagoon settlements has become major port cities which are highly developed to be modern cities. In returns, many of them have gradually lost historic characters or fabric carrying their cultural significances, then become degraded, transmigrated, and perhaps abandon. In respond to UN Sustainable Development Goal No.11, this session aims to share experience and discuss on an innovative and thoughtful practice in protecting and managing changes in lagoon settlements/cities in Southeast Asia and other areas sharing the same commonality to settlements in and around Songkhla Lake, the only one lagoon of Thailand, while retaining their values and significance to sustain the continuity of this remarkable cultural landscape: lagoon settlements.

32 Reed Instruments from a Historical View
Convener: Gisa Jaehnichen1 or Gisa Jaehnichen2(Shanghai Conservatory of Music, AERMC)

This session is about some kinds of reed instruments in history (aulos/lusheng/Lue-pipau). Historical excavations, early recordings and more recent fieldwork are brought together to describe the picture of symbolic uses over the times. In each period were some preferences to be observed and all musical instruments were used in festivals or rituals. The areas can vary, too. While the aulos played an important role during the earlier times in Europe's hierarchies, the lusheng, the mouth organ of the southern areas of recent China, and the telescope clarinette of Northern Laos have rather symbolic meanings for specific communities. The harmonium used in Sri Lanka had a long fight of retuning and adaptation. Objectives of the session are rising awareness for diversities in use and construction of musical instruments, the available knowledge sources about them and those different communities. Every participant will contribute to this joint goal with various methods reaching from literature analysis to excavating artifacts and to sound analysis.

33 Connectivity - Ritual, Environment and Heritage
Convener: Elizabeth Moore (SOAS Alphawood)

Ritual, environment and heritage within premodern Southeast Asia connected to each other but how, why and when? Ritual objects speak to this issue in mediating between devotees and the unseen. Ritual places - natural locales, monumental structures and cities - express past and often ongoing artistic and donatory associations. The interaction of societies and places demonstrates their vital co-dependency on local ecosystems from balanced utilisation of natural resources to intense modification perpetrating demise. Heritage, ancient ritual objects and places are inseparable, their future reliant on sustainable community coordination. Papers on one or all themes sharing the outcomes of recent fieldwork, conceptual and/or digital approaches, and object analysis through epigraphy, archives and other sources are welcomed.

34 Bagan Conservation Project: A holistic and collaborative approach to conserve a living cultural landscape
Convener:Susan Macdonald (Getty Conservation Institute)

Situated on a bend of the Ayeyarwady River in the dry central plain of Myanmar, Bagan is a vast cultural landscape encompassing an extraordinary ensemble of Buddhist art and architecture. These monuments are an integral part of a continuous living tradition of religious activity. The intangible values of religious use are inseparable from the physical structures. In July 2019, the site was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Today, the archaeological site of Bagan covers 50 square kilometers and continues to be an important place of pilgrimage and worship as well as traditional cultural and agrarian practices. However, Bagan is subject to natural and human-made risks which threaten its long-term survival. Located in a seismic zone and subject to occasional flooding, Bagan’s monuments have been affected for centuries by these natural hazards, which are now compounded by climate change and shifts in foresting practice that can negatively impact the site. The Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) and Department of Archaeology and National Museum (DANM) started the Bagan Conservation Project as a collaboration aimed at defining a holistic, integrated, and sustainable approach to conservation and management issues across the site of Bagan. The project was organized into the following five components: Site management. Repair and seismic retrofitting of monuments, Conservation of decorated elements, Recording and documentation, and Training. The initiative also included the development and implementation of a model project at Myin-Pya-Gu (1493) to embed conservation methodologies, approaches and best practices that could then be applied to other structures at Bagan.

The proposed half-day session will share the work to date including the methodology, objectives, and main outcomes developed within the project based on the field work conducted in Bagan until early 2020. The session’s goal is to disseminate the work across a number of areas at Bagan, from overarching methodology, conservation of decorative surfaces, integrating seismic retrofit methods into the conservation of the monuments and preliminary training approaches. Despite the disruption to the ongoing work the project has generated a significant body of work that the GCI hopes will prove beneficial to the site of Bagan, professionals in the region, and the broader conservation community.

35 The (not so new) Role of Museums
Convener:Marina Moore (Independent Heritage Education Coordinator)

How do we make museums an inclusive space for all? This session will bring together museum professionals from across the region to discuss common and unique practices to promote museums as an inclusive space for all - encouraging learning, reflection on museum spaces and displays, and a deeper understanding of our shared heritage and culture. Objectives: Following this session, it is hoped that museums that participated in the 2015 event will have an opportunity to reconvene prior to the 10-year anniversary of the event in 2025. This session will be an opportunity to discuss the topic of education and inclusion in museum spaces and hopefully agree on shared best practice that can be applied across the region under the auspices of SEAMEO SPAFA.

36 Partnerships for Preservation: PT Semen Tonasa, Balai Pelestarian Kebudayaan (BPK), and the Maros-Pangkep Geopark Cultural Heritage Management Plan
Convener:Johanna Daunan(SIG and PT Semen Tonasa), John A Peterson (ICAHM and PT Semen Tonasa), Yadi Mulyadi (UNHAS and Maros-Pangkep Global Geopark Administration), Andi Jusdi and Balai Pelestarian Kebudayaan (BPK)

Rock art sites in the Maros-Pangkep karst landscape in South Sulawesi are world-renowned as the world’s oldest cave paintings. The karst towers are rich with rock shelters with images of animals and people dating back more than 40,000 years ago and the surrounding terrain hosts deep sites with ancient stone tool deposits. Some of these sites are within the limestone quarry concessions managed by PT Semen Tonasa . In recent years there has been increasing damage to the images, and PT Semen Tonasa, in partnership with the Balai Pelestarian Kebudayaan (BPK) Wilayah XIX, the Geopark administration, and faculty from Hasanuddin University in Makassar have teamed up to conduct a scientific monitoring program to identify the sources of the damage. The current monitoring programs included; monitoring impacts from vibration caused by mining operations, dust from the haul roads, as well as from ambient humidity and tourist visitation. The team is continuously exploring best practices in doing preservation and monitoring. This is a joint effort with the cultural heritage agencies as well as scientists. Private sector sponsors could engage in these partnerships to develop cultural heritage preservation programs for their own undertakings. The South Sulawesi agency for heritage management, the BPK, is surveying discovery of new sites and the team is monitoring within the caves in order to manage the preservation of the cultural heritage resources. A proactive Cultural Heritage Management Plan is proposed as an example of an effective tool for public-private partnerships in heritage preservation in Island and Mainland Southeast Asia.