Archaeological Bone in Southeast Asia
Principles of On-site Handling and Conservation
10 May - 25 June 2021
This six-week online course organised by SEAMEO SPAFA is designed to give an overview about the archaeology of human bones in Southeast Asia and the principles of proper on-site excavation and conservation. Students can follow the lessons at their own pace, which are delivered online via asynchronous video lectures, readings and quizzes. Certificates are given upon successful completion of the required assessments within the course duration.
Bones, and in particular human remains, are commonly found in archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. Some notable sites with human remains include the Nong Ratchawat Archaeological Site (Suphan Buri province, Thailand), Gua Harimau (South Sumatra province, Indonesia) and Liang Bua (Flores Island, Indonesia). Bones are especially fragile in tropical environments, and are prone to disintegration if not properly
extracted and consolidated after excavation.
In 2020, SEAMEO SPAFA was meant to conduct an Advanced Field School on the On-Site Handling and Conservation of Bones. However, due to the global pandemic, the programme was changed in the light of global travel restrictions. This online course is designed to give participants an overview of human remains in Southeast Asian archaeological contexts, the basics of human anatomy, demonstrations of how to properly extract, stabilise and store bone materials during archaeological excavations and virtual site visits. Over the course of six weeks, participants will listen to instructional lectures and are required to complete assignments designed to assess their understanding of the subject material. Once the global situation improves and international travel can be undertaken, this course will be used as a foundation and requirement for the advanced on-site training courses.
The course in conducted in English, and the learning materials will be distributed via Google Classroom. You will need an email address and access to the internet to undertake this course. Each week will contain several short lectures, accompanied by supplementary material. Lectures will be delivered by regional and international experts in the field.
At the end of every week, participants are expected to complete a quiz to assess their understanding of the week’s material. Because the course is designed to be asynchronous, the lectures and quizzes can be accessed at your own time. However, in order to qualify for a cetificate of completion, you must complete all the quizes and achieve a minimum pass grade.
Opening Ceremony (Date to be confirmed)
Week 1 (May 10)
Hominins and Humans in Southeast Asia I
Hominins and Humans in Southeast Asia II
Current Conversations about the Human Past
Week 2 (May 17)
Some variation of burial traditions in Indonesia
Burial Traditions in Vietnam
Ethical and Respectful Treatment of Bones
Week 3 (May 24)
Overview of the in-situ extraction process
Basics of Human Anatomy
Estimation of sex in human skeletal remains
Estimation of age-at-death in human skeletal remains
Week 4 (May 31)
Using a Field Recording Form
Post-excavation treatment and bone management in Vietnam
Week 5 (June 7)
Virtual Site Visit: Nong Ratchawat
Demonstration class: Extracting Bones from the matrix
Demonstration class: cleaning and field stabilisation
Week 6 (June 14)
Virtual Site Visit: Gua Harimau: Research and Conservation Activities
Virtual Site Visit: Phu Noi
Closing Ceremony (Date to be confirmed)
June 25: Course closes (cut-off date for assessments)
Lâm Thị Mỹ Dung
Her research interest covers the Metal Age in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, the appearance of rice cultivation and bronze metallurgy in Vietnam, Archaeology of Champa... Her various authored, co-authored and edited works include Fundamental Culture of Vietnam (1999); Gò Mả Vôi – New Research on the Sahuynh Culture (2002); The Bronze Age (2004); Fundamental Archaeology (2009); The Museum of Anthropology – The Achievements and Perspectives (2015); Thành Dền Archaeological Site – The Prominent Historical and Cultural Values (2016); Sa Huynh – Linyi – Champa 5th century BC – 5th century AD (Some Archaeological Issues)(2017, 2018); One millennium years of Champa pottery (2017, 2019). The Maritime Archaeology in Vietnam...
Nguyen Thi Mai Huong
Since 2012, I am became a manager of Paleoanthropology and Environmental Department, the Institute of Archaeology which was established from 1989. The Department covers three main research fields such as: Anthropology, Zoo- archaeology and paleoenvironmental. Therefore, besides of excavation and research activities, my colleagues and I also undertook the role of post excavation treatment and conservation a massive collection of human bone and paleontological remains. A “Pollen bank” references for palynological researches is also built. These are precious documents where Vietnamese and foreigner researchers could come to studies.
Michael B. C. Rivera
My research interest is related to Late Prehistoric Thailand, particularly in the field of bioarchaeology or human osteoarchaeology and mortuary analysis also.
Who This Course is For
This course is designed as an introduction-level course into human remains in the archaeology of Southeast Asia. It may be particularly useful for:
Practicing field archaeologists, especially those who do not have experience with human remains, or who will be working with human remains in the near future
Advanced students in archaeology who do not have experience with human remains, or who will be working with human remains in the near future
This course will also be a foundation requirement for future advanced field trainings conducted by SEAMEO SPAFA. You will need an email address and access to the internet to undertake this course. The course content will be delivered over Google Classroom, and emal will be the primary form of communication.
Assessment and Completion
Every week, new lectures and course material will be uploaded in the classroom platform. You are free to view and read them according to your schedule. Lectures are around 20-30 minutes long, and course materials include supplementary websites, videos and reading material.
Each lesson is accompanied by a multiple-choice quiz based on the lecture and the reading materials to test your understanding of the lesson. Participants will be required to pass every quiz in order to qualify for the certificate. Quizzes can be done at any time, but they have to be completed by the end of the official course period (25 June 2021) in order to qualify for the certificate.
This course is run by the SEAMEO Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts. For specific questions about the programme, please contact Dr. Noel Hidalgo Tan at email@example.com