The ABIA (Annual Bibliography of Indian Archaeology) is a bibliographic database detailing South and Southeast Asian art and archaeology. Compiled by a panel of international specialists, first brought together by the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) in 1997 at Leiden, the Netherlands, the database deals with scholarly publications by specialists.The database itself covers a variety of topics from a number of regions. Topics included: pre- and protohistory; historical archaeology; both ancient and modern art history; material culture; epigraphy and palaeography and numismatics, while regions include: South Asia and culturally related regions (e.g. Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Tibet); Southeast Asia and culturally related regions (e.g. South China and the Pacific). The database also contains material in many different languages.To date, two hard-copy publications containing selections from the database have been made available, published in 1999 and 2002. Both are available to order via this website. The database itself is accessed via this website.
The Ancient Chinese Rice Archaeology Project website present searches for the earliest evidence of the use of rice in China. Several projects have involved archaeologists, geneticists, phytologists, taxonomists and palynologists on this topic. The project website provides an introduction to these studies. Dr Pei Anping has carried out all fieldwork required to find new evidence while Dr Bryan C. Gordon was in charge of collecting and dating important rice samples as well as translating the papers in English. The website includes: a gallery a pictures; a brief introduction with bibliography; and a large collection of papers available as HTML files. Most of the papers are available also in alternative formats, such as RTF. Results from the project suggest that the earliest rice cultivation was localised in areas flooded by the Yangtze River.
Ancient Chinese Vessels is an online database produced by Liu Yu of The Palace Museum, Beijing, that records the findings of his research into bronze sacrificial vessels inscribed with names, or 'clan signs'. The resource is part of the digital library of Lehigh University. Vessels date from the late Shang period to the Early Western Zhou period (11th and 10th centuries BC). Users navigate to the database through a link on the main page. Records are displayed in the form of photographs of clan signs, along with textual information including: type; excavation site; and dynasty. It is possible to view a larger version of the clan sign inscription (sometimes with additional images) by selecting the 'Vessel ID' field. Users can also search the database by: clan name; site; vessel; or dynasty. A Chinese language developmental version of the resource was the forerunner to the present database, although unfortunately the link to this version on the present site is no longer active. Ancient Chinese Vessels would be of interest to any researcher of Chinese archaeology, although more annotation would be useful as an introduction to the subject for less experienced researchers.
Merv is an ancient town founded ca. 500 BC on a oasis in the desert by the rulers of the Achaemenian Empire to improve trades between India and Europe on the route that would be later known as Silk Road. The town has changed many rulers and names throughout its history and was known as Antiochia Margiana during the Hellenistic period. Since the 7th century AD the town became a major Islamic centre important for the Arab expansion; in the 740s the Abbasid revolution started here with the conquest of the town by Abu Muslim. This website summarises the history of the town and the ongoing archaeological excavations, with particular care in presenting the conservation activities of the town built on mud bricks. An updated list of publications and theses on Merv is available. There are also colour pictures and QuickTime panoramas available in section "Rotating Imagery of Ancient Merv". The AHRC funded ceramic database appears promising, but at the time of review was not working.
This website presents the international archaeological research project at Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. Anuradhapura has been the cultural and religious capital of Sri Lanka for over 1,500 years. Despite our understanding of the urban process of Anuradhapura, knowledge of the role played by non-urban communities remains poor. This project represents the first multi-disciplinary (see section "Methodology") attempt to model the development of an Early Historic city in South Asia, and to assess its impact on non-urban communities, and the environment within its hinterland. Although the website publishes aims and objectives as well as some of the ongoing activities, preliminaries reports were notably missing at the time of review. A list of useful publications is available. The project has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) website is an online resource provided by this publicly funded office attached to the of the Indian Ministry of Culture. The ASI is charged with the exploration, excavation, preservation, and protection of monuments and sites in India designated of national or international importance. The website provides information on the activities of the ASI and short articles on the most important archaeological sites of India excavated in the past as well as news of recent discoveries and excavations. The website also includes some practical information for those who wish to visit the main sites. Some ASI publications are available for purchase through the site and users can also request additional information via a Web form. Recent additions to the site include the documentary Shahjahanabad, documenting one hundred years of history from 1850 to 1947 as viewed from the perspective of Delhi's Red Fort.
This website was established to publish excavation reports by the Joint German-Pakistani Archaeological Mission to Kalat, founded in 1996 to investigate the archaeology of Baluchistan, Pakistan's largest province. Three seasons of survey have covered about 1900 square kilometres in the plain of Las Bela, in the Kanrach, and the Greater Hab River valleys. More than 300 archaeological sites have been discovered and documented.The website describes the findings of the expedition as an illustrated essay describing the sites discovered linked to a slide-show showing the monuments and their contexts as well as selections of pottery and other finds. The slides may be accessed from the text, from a slide index, or from a list of captions. Slides from the collection may be emailed as "postcards".
This website is published by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and focuses on the sourcing and trade of Caucasian obsidian. A few illustrated articles outline possible sources and the extent of the trade network. The 'diaporama' (picture gallery) collects in one place all the many colour photos and drawings in the articles. There is a map and a bibliography.
The Indus Valley Civilization was one of the world's first great urban civilizations. The earliest cities became integrated into an extensive urban culture around 4,600 years ago and continued to dominate the region for at least 700 years. The slide collection is part of the larger Harappa website, whose goal is to make the archaeology of the Ancient Harappa culture more well known. There are also sections on the later Raj period in Pakistan and India, explored through modern media. The slide show was created by Dr Jonathan Mark Kenoyer from the University of Wisconsin. This website illustrates the sophistication of the civilisation with a collection of photographs of monuments, art works, jewellery and pottery. Each photograph has a paragraph of descriptive text and there is also an accompanying overarching essay which describes the growth and economy civilisation using thumbnails of the photographs as illustrations. The photographs can also be accessed from an index and can be emailed as postcards.
Archaeological excavations at the ancient Indus city of Harappa in Punjab, Pakistan, have been going on since 1986. The results of these excavations are rewriting our understanding of the ancient Indus Valley civilization. Harappa is the first ancient Indus city where it has been possible to document the transformation from a small village (founded ca. 3500 B.C.) to a great urban centre and to follow that transformation through a continuous sequence of archaeological deposits. This website presents a comprehensive general introduction to the ancient Indus Valley and a collection of 90 slides focussing particularly on the latest discoveries. The slides consist of maps and plans of Harappa, images from reconstruction models and photographs of artefacts.
Asianart.com is an online journal published by respected art historian Ian Alsop. It was among the first ejournals to harness the ability of web browsers to display images alongside analytical text. With over 50 online exhibitions, the website surpasses many traditional gallery spaces in sheer number of pieces on view. The holdings are especially good for Himalayan art, both by traditional artists and Western observers. Robert Powell's exquisite ink drawings of high Himalayan structures are well represented. The site is a known scholarly resource and has been the venue for important papers on Newar and Tibetan topics, which are published along with critical responses where these are appropriate. Of the site's various areas, the Articles, Exhibitions and Associations will be the most rewarding for scholars, though as with almost all art historical journals, the commercial element is also present in a listing of galleries.
The Ban Chiang Project website provides some essential information about the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ban Chiang, Thailand, which has been excavated by a team of the University of Pennsylvania. Archaeologists have found a settlement and cemetery at Ban Chiang as well as evidence of metallurgy dated between 2100 BC to AD 300. Archaeometallurgical analyses have demonstrated that the ancient smiths preferred bronze to pure copper already from the Early period. Short articles are available on metallurgy and crucibles. An article shows some examples of "rollers", a small artefact frequently found with different decorations in tombs; its function is still uncertain. There is a large and updated bibliography as well as several galleries of pictures (slideshows). This website may be useful to both students and researchers. A separate website by the same research group provides further information for researchers.
One of the finest and most diverse collections in Athens, and also the oldest in Greece, it is no surprise to find that the Benaki Museum's website is exemplary in form and content. It offers all the necessary information for the prospective visitor, including QuickTime movies of many of the galleries, details of past, present and future collections, and overviews of the collections. A journey through the museum passes through Ancient Greece and the Roman period, the Byzantine period, the Frankish and Ottoman occupations, to the struggle for independence in the nineteenth century and the establishment of the Greek state thereafter. Each section is represented by a selection of choice artefacts, the illustrations of which can be enlarged. The Museum also holds important collections of historic heirlooms, over 6000 paintings and drawings by Greek artists and those who visited or were inspired by the country, as well as Coptic, Chinese (largely the gifts of George Eumorphopoulos) and Islamic art and a collection of Toys and Games from Greece and the wider world. There is admirable attention to the history of the museum, with special features on the founder, Antonis Benakis, and other significant donors, as well as the building itself (the Benakis' residence in Athens) and plans for the division of the collection (the Islamic collection, the Department of Historical Archives, and the collection of Toys and Games) and their prospective homes. The Museum's Archive collection is particularly important, and there are separate pages for the Historical (much relating to the Greek War of Independence and the later rise of Eleftherios Venizelos), Neo-Hellenic Architecture and Photography archives. The last has further links to pages devoted to James Robertson, Nelly's, Voula Papaioannou and Dimitris Harissiadis, all of which are well illustrated. All three archives are responsible for publications, details of which are listed.
This website is published by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and focuses on the site of Ywa Htin, Myanmar (Burma). A few illustrated articles summarise the recent discoveries by a French team of archaeologists in a cemetery dating to the Bronze and Iron Ages. Many artefacts are presented in detail. The 'diaporama' (picture gallery) collects in one place all the many colour photos and drawings in the articles. There is a map and a bibliography.
Borobudur, the great Buddhist stupa on Java (Indonesia), was built and decorated possibly before 800 AD. This page, hosted by the Australian National University, provides an extensive resource on the site, including background and contextual information, VRML (virtual reality) models, and photographs. In addition, many sections, plans and maps have been made available for more detailed analysis. A comprehensive bibliography supports the main content, whilst a links page provides access to further information regarding Borobudur itself, Java, and Indonesia as a whole.
This website contains a selection of the free online ‘Occasional Papers’ published by the British Museum. At the time of writing, these (the result of specific research into the museum’s collections) were varied in range and included: ‘A researcher's guide to the Lachish collection in the British Museum’ covering the 17,000 objects from the 1930s British excavations at Lachish in Israel; ‘Sir Aurel Stein, proceedings of the British Museum study day’ a useful reference for the study of the “scholar, explorer, author”; ‘Albrecht Dürer and his Legacy ‘, the result of a conference accompanying the landmark 2002 exhibition of the same name; ‘Cleaning and Controversy: The Parthenon Sculptures 1811-1939’ a study of the controversial 1930s cleaning of the Elgin marbles, and the historical context of this; ‘Development and evaluation of the HSBC Money Gallery at the British Museum’ a narration the creation of a new and important gallery at the museum, and a study of its impact; ‘Access to Museum Culture: the British Museum from 1753 to 1836’ a study of the early access arrangements to the museum’s collections. Each of these PDF documents is broken down by chapter for ease of reference and speed of download.
The Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association is a regular free full-text journal published by the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association. This website contains all issues since 2005; the journal was published also on paper until 2006. The journal publishes papers focusing on a wide area, including both Asia and Oceania. Recent issues have concentrated on reports published at the meetings of the association. It is possible to register to receive notifications of new issues by email. This website also publishes announcements from the association, including news of future meetings and instructions to register as well as news of grants. As a result, this website is an essential resource for researchers interested in the archaeology of Asia, Australia and Polynesia.
The Carrie electronic library publishes a number of full-text books of historical value in HTML format. All books are easily accessed and can be read online or printed. Some of the books had never been published before. The items offered include: the Carrie Eurasia Collection (CEC); documents from World War I; documents for the study of American history; historical documents from western Europe; the Lopez Martin collection, and the Planctus for William Longsword. Among the titles are: Renaissance and Reformation; The Age of Torquemada; Winter Wheat in the Golden Belt of Kansas; The Normans in South Wales, 1070-1171; Central Asian Monuments; British Policy and Mission Education in the Southern Sudan, 1928-1946; Persecution of the Jews in the Roman Empire; and The Origins of the Kazaks and the Uzbeks. The books are relevant to American studies, European history, and Central Asian studies. It is possible to submit works of adequate standard for publication on the site. Originally published by the University of Kansas, the Carrie library has been hosted by the European University Institute in Florence since April 2006.
The Center for the Study of Eurasian Nomads (CSEN) website provides information on the archaeology and ethnography of nomads in Eurasia, especially Russia. The few freely available papers, book reviews, and lecture abstracts constitute the most interesting part for archaeologists. The free availability in PDF format of the book "Kurgans, Ritual Sites, and Settlements: Eurasian Bronze and Iron Age" is commendable. This book includes various papers and originated from sessions at the EAA (European Association of Archaeologists) annual meetings. The centre seems to be associated with a Publishing House, Zinat Press, which publishes some of the centre's researches on paper. The website also offers the opportunity to participate in fieldwork activities financed by the centre itself; practical details and instructions on how to apply are given. For past fieldwork activities some texts and pictures give a glimpse of the experience, but most pictures are unrelated to archaeology. There are also too many broken links, and the website feels at times a marketing activity, promoting paid participation in fieldwork activities and the centre's publications. This however does not diminish the quality of the contents available. The ethnographic section is not reviewed here, but worth a look, especially for the many pictures that manage to convey an idea of the Eurasian environment.
This website details the excavations of the Bala Hisar (High Fort) at Charsadda in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province. Excavations began at the site in 1958 under the direction of Sir Mortimer Wheeler. The website relates the history of the site and its archaeology as well as detailing the results of a recent, AHRC and British Academy funded joint British-Pakistani excavation at the site. The site includes an online exhibition which gives photographs of excavations, a history of the fort itself and detailed information about the various archaeological digs which have taken place there. There are also sections on the carbon dating of material from these digs, which have been used to challenge Wheeler's original thesis about the age of the fort. A list of publications resulting from the project is also included.
The China Heritage Quarterly is a freely accessible academic online quarterly concerned with archaeology, heritage preservation and museum studies in the People's Republic of China. It is hosted by the Division of Pacific and Asian History, Australian National University, and is edited by Bruce Doar and Geremie Barmé. The body of the current issue is easily accessible through the menu bar, and is regularly updated. Users are also able to access past editions, going back to 2005. For example, issues cover: the heritage of commemoration; imperial Beijing architecture; the shared heritage of Korea and China; and the region of Xinjiang. The 'New Scholarship' section of the online journal gives notice of conferences and events of interest and will hosts book reviews and monographs. China Heritage Quarterly would be of interest to any scholar, student or researcher with an interest in heritage preservation in Mainland China and government policy relating to it. The journal is well-presented and is simple to navigate with an accessible writing style and is illustrated by photographs at appropriate points. It also acts as a gateway to related websites hosted by the Australian National University, including the print journals East Asian History and China Archaeology, and the departmental home page of the Division of Pacific and Asian History.
This website is published by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and focuses on the site of Keriya (Yutian), China. A few illustrated articles survey the archaeological evidence from Keriya; Karadong; Djoumboulak Koum and the surrounding areas. The 'diaporama' (picture gallery) collects in one place all the many colour photos and drawings in the articles. There is a map and a bibliography.
This is the official website of the Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing. It contains information about the activities of the Institute and its staff with short descriptions of current and past projects. On the English version, in section "database" abstracts of some recent doctoral and post-doctoral theses are available. In section "resources & links" there are links to several Chinese academic departments of archaeology and museums. From the menu bar on the top, section "news" provides information about recent researches and discoveries. Section "publications" provides information on recent publications, including papers from academic journals. There is a forum and a search facility. Many sections in the English version of this website are still incomplete, but overall the website can be useful. The Chinese version instead is complete and contains almost exclusively information about recent discoveries as well as some data from excavations downloadable in Excel format or accessible as standard tables and tables of contents from recent books.
Part of the British Museum's website, this is an online tour that shows the development of Chinese jade from around 5000 BC to the modern period. The website states that "[j]ade has always been the material most highly prized by the Chinese, above silver and gold." From earliest times, the Chinese have carved intricate designs from this tough stone and it became a material that was worn by royalty and nobility. The website features images and descriptions of carved jade artefacts from various Chinese dynasties. The last page provides brief information about jade - the material ("the English term 'jade' is used to translate the Chinese word 'yu', which in fact refers to a number of minerals including nephrite, jadeite, serpentine and bowenite, while jade refers only to nephrite and jadeite") and where it was found in early Chinese history.
The temple site at Phimai, a World Heritage Site, consists of a walled complex of reconstructed temples, libraries, and ancillary structures. It is one of the most important Khmer monuments in Thailand. The digital reconstruction of the temple site in Phimai serves as a case study highlighting the potential of computer visualization as a tool in heritage resource management. Besides offering archaeologists, historians and museum curators a non-invasive environment for testing reconstruction scenarios, virtual worlds offer the public access to important historic monuments without the wear of excessive visitation. This smartly presented website provides an introduction detailing the history of the site and the role of digital technologies as an important part of heritage management. Access to the computer models themselves is provided, along with a discussion regarding their development.
CultureMATH is a website aimed at teachers and students of mathematics that also publishes an interesting series of papers and video interviews on the history of mathematics. Two special sections on the mathematics in ancient Mesopotamia and China are particularly valuable for archaeologists; they contain some full-text papers, bibliographic references and hyperlinks to other full-text papers (also in French) published on the Internet. Among the papers are "Calculer chez les marchands Assyriens au début du IIe millénaire av. J.-C." by Cécile Michel; "Le calcul sexagésimal en Mésopotamie: enseignement dans les écoles de scribes" by Christine Proust; "les Neuf Chapitres, le classique mathématique de la Chine ancienne et ses commentaires" a video by Karine Chemla. The videos are normally very large files available in Windows Media and Quicktime format. Of some importance are also the papers focusing on the mathematics on some medieval manuscripts, such as "Le Compendy de la practique des nombres", and those focusing on manuals for traders, such as "Le compendy de la praticque des nombres, une arithmétique du XVe siecle í mi-chemin entre théorie et pratique commerciale" by Maryvonne Spiesser.
This is a site detailing the AHRB funded project Dance and the Architecture of the Hindu temple, a collaboration betweeen the Centre for Dance Research at Roehampton University and the PRASADA architectural research unit of De Montfort University and now located at Stanford University whose website hosts the relevant information about the research. The original project had three main aims, namely: to study the relationship between dance and architectural space, with a case study based on the form of the Hindu temple and with classical Indian dance; to combine theoretical issues with insights gained from dance experience and to redefine the traditional notion of architecture as fixed space; to extend the results of this research to the overseas South Asia community. The project has now ended but there are plans to continue the research, focussing it more specifically on Odissi dance and Orissan temple architecture. The resource features some video clips of the dancer participants.
The superb website of the archaeological museum of Shandong University makes use of several multimedia technologies to present its collections. Among its collections are artefacts from Xianrentai (West Zhou Dynasty tombs) and Yinjiacheng, Sishui county (Dawenkou culture; Longshan culture of Shandong; Yueshi culture; Shang, Zhou and Han dynasties cultures, including Longshan and Yueshi cultures). The small English version of the website includes a short textual introduction; a list of staff; an article on Xianrentai and Yinjiacheng as well as a selection of pictures. By clicking a first time on each picture it is possible to see the caption; a second click opens a popup window with a larger version of the same picture. The Chinese version is larger and the multimedia features often do not require knowledge of Chinese language. The menu on the left provides access to a database containing records of many artefacts; the database can be queried by using the dropdown menus to select an archaeological period (from the Palaeolithic to the modern era), material and inserting a keyword. From any resulting page it is possible to start browsing the entire database by clicking on the arrow on the top left. A few artefacts can also be accessed directly from the home page. For each artefact there is a textual description, a photograph and an audio comment. From the home page, it is possible to access some virtual reconstructions of artefacts; to browse photographs of artefacts from several tombs from the region; to access a virtual tour of the rooms of the museum by using a Java plugin; to access short biographies of past explorers and archaeologists; to access interactive educational texts and Flash animations; to obtain information about the museum, recent research and discoveries. There is also an active forum of discussion; a dictionary of terms; special features on field archaeology, the Zhou Dynasty tombs and other topics. There is also a musical video rewarding the readers.
"Ancient Nepal" (Prācīn Nepāl) is an academic journal published since 1967 that focuses on the archaeological antiquities and cultural heritage of Nepal and the Himalayas. Topics include epigraphy, manuscripts, numismatics, archives, art, anthropology, architecture and museum studies. The journal A full-text version of issues of the journal until 1993 has been made available free of charge in PDF format on this website. It is possible to download either full volumes or single papers.
The Digital Library for International Research is a project run by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) that publishes several documents (books; journal; photographs; maps) on archaeology as well as modern literature and languages in digital format. It is possible to use section "Online Catalog" to perform a search across all contents, including library holdings. Section "E-books Collections" contains the ALMA (African Language Materials Archive Project) project archive, with several e-books written in African languages (including Bamanankan; Criol; Fula/Peul/Pular; Fulfulde; Jula/Dyula; Mandinka; Moore; and Wolof). Section "Photo Archives" contains over 125,000 photographs from the American Institute of Indian Studies, Center for Art and Archaeology (AIIS-CAA) in Gurgaon, India. Section "Map Collections" contains the archives of the ongoing Mapping Mediterranean Lands (MedMaps) project. Only a few maps were accessible at the time of review, and there is a section aimed at school teachers. "Journal Collections" contains the digitised version of several journals.
More contents should be added as the projects progress and new projects and archives are added to the collections. This website will be useful to researchers, teaching staff and students.
This website publishes a digital catalogue of the objects in the Dinajpur Museum, Bagladesh. Clicking on "object search" displays a search form that can also list by categories all objects in the museum. For each artefact, a short description and a small picture is displayed. Clicking on the "show details" button will open a popup with the full record and several colour pictures (if available) of the chosen artefact. The museum "possesses various categories of objects including some rare and interesting pieces of sculptures which testify to the Eastern Indian School of Art" after the 6th century AD. Among the artefacts are inscriptions, sculptures and coins. Researchers interested in the archaeology of Bangladesh or specifically in artefacts conserved in the museum will find this website very useful.
The e book "Dunhuang art" (ISBN 8170173132), by Prof. Duan Wenjie and translated into English by Tan Chung, focuses on the approximately 500 caves containing 45,000 square metres of frescoes and 2,415 stucco colour statues of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas located at Mogao, on the oasis of Dunhuang, Gansu Province. The author is a leading authority on the topic and this is the only book available in English that presents a Chinese perspective on the caves. Dunhuang is the largest Buddhist centre in China and the art found there dates from the 4th to the 14th century AD. This website contains the entire text of the book, including images, the glossary and the bibliography. A few additional articles have been added to the online version, and chapters cover: the style of art at Dunhuang; Dunhuang Art during different phases of the Tang Dynasty; and conservation of relics at Dunhuang. It is possible to download a font to display diacritical marks. This website is an essential resource about the early artistic heritage of China as well as Indian and Buddhist culture in China.
This is the official website of the Emperor Qin's terra-cotta warriors and horses museum at Xian. The tomb, only partly explored, is a UNESCO world heritage site. The website is available in Chinese and English and is divided between a highly interactive section aimed at the general public ("public edition") and a scientific section aimed at scholars ("learning edition"). The Chinese public edition contains several texts missing in the English version; an extensive interactive section aimed at children; historic photographs of the discovery and news of recent research ("discovery" section); and other contents. Section 1 ("history") in the Chinese version corresponds to section 3 ("terracotta army") in the English version. The English public edition contains an interactive map (section 2, "guide") of the mausoleum with schematic views of the mausoleum and the several pits; there are many images of the most famous and important artefacts. At the time of review small parts of the English website were not functioning properly. The learning edition is available in Chinese only and it contains information on research activities; publications; and the administration of the museum. This website is an essential source of information on this most extraordinary monument.
The eMuseum website provides highly detailed images and brief descriptions of national treasures and important cultural properties held by the museums of Tokyo, Kyoto and Nara. A large number of Japanese artefacts together with earlier Chinese paintings and documents are presented. All the information on the site is available in five languages: Japanese, Chinese, Korean, English and French. Although the home page is only in Japanese, clicking on any of the icons for the different categories leads to an easy-to-use graphical interface in all five languages. Images are organised into the following categories: Japanese painting (11th-13th centuries and 15th-19th centuries); Chinese paintings (Song and Yuan dynasties); Swords and Blades; Others (includes Buddhist statues, votive and ritual objects and vessels); Buddhist sutras and Chinese classics; Japanese Classic and Historical documents; Japanese and Chinese calligraphy; Textiles. Once a category is selected the user is presented with a list of all objects within that section, which leads through to a more detailed record for each object. This contains a thumbnail image, information of an object's date, period, material and provenance and a brief description. Navigation buttons also allow the user to browse an entire section without returning to the initial list. The thumbnail image provides access to a larger version image of the object that can in turn be enlarged further and viewed in detailed segments. Certain objects on the website also have the option to view them from different angles using the 'Image Browser' option. The eMuseum website is easy to use (but also includes a multilingual 'how to use' section) and provides easy access to very high quality images of a large number of important objects.
This website, created by Dr Dennis A. Etler, focuses on human fossils found in China and contains: a catalog of fossils; a slideshow; and a handful of academic papers. The catalog contains: an overview table detailing all the major fossils; a picture gallery; an atlas; and a timeline. The slideshow, "Age and Living Environment of Yunxian Man" by Li Tianyuan, is available in both English and Chinese. It is a PowerPoint presentation of a lecture that shows the cranium of "Yunxian Man" fossil hominid found in Hubei province, and analyses ESR and palaeomagnetic dating as well as environmental data. There are several pictures of fossil fauna and stone tools. The section on material is particularly thorough and informative. The papers, in PDF format, also focus on Yunxian fossils. In addition, they also present Wushan (Longgupo) fossils and compare Asian fossils with African fossils. There is also a slideshow on the latter subject. The other pages of this website concentrate on presenting the research activity of Dr Etler and his personal interests.
This website publishes about eighty professional medium resolution colour pictures of Early Bronze Age pots taken at the Georgian State Museum at Tblisi by Richard Heap. The pots come from the archaeological sites of Berikldebi; Dangreuli Gora; Didube; Gaitmazi; Khizanaant Gora; Kvatskhelebi; Ozni; Samshvilde; and Tsikhiagora. The bronze pins with double spirals from Gaitmazi have also been included. No captions are provided; clicking on the small pictures will open larger pictures in the browser. The whole collection, only partly published on this website, is available for purchase as a CD-ROM. These photographs may be useful to teaching staff.
This is the official website of the Greater Angkor Project (GAP), which will run until 2009. Large attention is provided to environmental and spatial issues connected to the research at Angkor. The website provides some basic information about the project and contains some papers and one BA thesis. It might be useful to students interested in GIS techniques and researchers focusing on Angkor.
The research project is co-ordinated by the University of Sydney (Australia) in collaboration with the Ecole Française d’Extrême Orient (France), APSARA (Cambodia), the body responsible for the management of the Angkor World Heritage Park, and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation. Contact details for all the researchers are provided.
Harappa.com is a resource focussed upon South Asia's past (mainly India and Pakistan) and is largely devoted to early modern media from the Raj period. The site can be divided into two main sections with one half focussing on the ancient city of Harappa and the other dealing with the Raj period of India and Pakistan. The half of the website that deals with the Raj does so largely through the use of early media. The largest section by far is the image section which contains a huge number of photographs, lithographs, postcards and engravings. The photograph section is in itself huge and contains large detailed sections on "Hawkshaw's India" (a 19th century album of India and Pakistan detailing in photographs the life of Major Edward Crichton Hawkshaw), 'Magic Lantern India 1895' (hand-coloured images by William Henry Jackson), "Bremner's India 1883-1923" (Fred Bremners images of Baluchistan, Sindh and Punjab accompanied by a number of essays) along with an 130 image photomap of India and Pakistan, biographies of the photographers and a bibliography of books on Indian Raj photography. The lithograph section contains 8 lithographs, mostly from the Illustrated London News, with accompanying articles and the Postcards and Engravings sections contain a large number of coloured and black and white postcards organised by subject. Aside from still images the website also contains a large selection of black and white and colour newsreels and archival movies in QuickTime format together with clips and interviews with significant figures including Gandhi, Jinnah and Attia Hosain (Real Audio format). The Harappa website also contains a 'Bazaar' link to an online store selling Indus Valley Replicas ceramics, 35mm Slides, books, archival film, teaching resources and image rights. There are also pictures of the important archaeological site of Mohenjo-Daro. The website is easy to use and is structured thematically.
This website published by the library of the University of Heidelberg contains a significant number of free and full-text e-books on archaeology; Egyptology; and modern languages literature. It is possible to access digitised manuscripts (Bibliotheca Palatina; Codices Salemitani; and Heidelberger Handschriften) as well as documents and books on the region of Heidelberg; incunabula; documents about the university of Heidelberg; geological writings; art history books (especially nineteenth century European art); archaeology (Minoan, Mycenaeans, Greeks, Romans, Etruscans, iconography, pottery) and Egyptology books; literature of South Asia; World War I archival documents; and other special documents preserved at the university. It is possible to search or browse through the documents and books, mostly written in German. Among the texts are the full-text edition of Arthur J. Evans' "The Palace of Minos" and other works by Evans; works by Adolf Furtwängler, Bernard de Montfaucon, Heinrich Schliemann, William M. Flinders Petrie, and John Ward; and Matthew A. Sherring's "The sacred city of the Hindus: an account of Benares in ancient and modern times". The list of available books is increasing. Since fundamental works of archaeology in the public domain can be accessed through this website, archaeologists at all stages may find this website useful.
The "History Experience Centre" is part of the official Ulsan Metropolitan City website and focuses on the archaeology of the Ulsan region of South Korea. Section "Hall of the Ages" presents a timeline of the archaeological phases of the region from the earliest evidence of human presence, dating back to about 700,000 years ago, to contemporary times. By selecting the overview page all main phases are summarised with several illustrations. There are in-depth summaries of archaeological evidence, including ceramic styles, settlements and material evidence. The English version sometimes uses incorrect words, for example calling archaeological features "relics". However, the descriptions are clear enough and there are many colour pictures that are accessible from the many "gallery pictures". The abundance of details and pictures may be sufficient to the experienced researcher to recognise many archaeological artefacts and features and often the summaries could be satisfactory even in a final excavation report. Section "Hall of Cultural Properties" contains short reports of the main monuments, including the Bronze Age petroglyphs at Bangudae (scenes of hunting and perhaps whaling with boats) and Cheonjeon-ri (animals and geometric figures). More recent monuments are also included. Some archaeological sites are also present in the lists, and for each site a selection of artefacts is illustrated. Short videos and 3D reconstructions are also sometimes available in addition to texts and pictures. Section "Folklore Hall" focuses on games, religion, music and recent material evidence, while "Hall of Geography" contains pictures of several historical maps of the region with short commentaries. Overall, this is an excellent website that summarises the archaeological and cultural evidence from the Ulsan region effectively and may be of interest to both researchers and students.
The website 'history of Bengal' is a large site containing articles, information about books and a collection of photographs all relating to archaeological digs and sites in Bengal. In particular it focuses on two sites: Chandraketugarh and Khana-Mihirer Dhipi, which both date back over two thousand years. The website is not terribly easy to navigate, as it is presented in a linear fashion with few quick links to the many different sections it contains, some of which are quite hidden. Certainly, from the front page, the user has little hint at the range of information that is available. There are a large number of articles about the archaeological sites here, and a great number of photographs both of the sites themselves and of artefacts recovered from them. This is an interesting site which will be of use to scholars of ancient India.
This website presents a collaborative research project on Indian temples, including its research objectives. Site survey notes and the epigraphic database can be accessed in PDF format. The project was started by the Vidisha Research Group, and is funded by the AHRC.
The key site being researched is the temple at Bhojpur, near Bhopal in central India. The unfinished temple dating to the mid-eleventh century is associated with King Bhoja. The project will investigate medieval life in India. Researchers in particular may find this website useful.
This website is published by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and focuses on the caves on the southern shores of the island of Java. A few illustrated articles summarise the archaeological evidence about the earliest archaeological sites and stone tools found in the area. The 'diaporama' (picture gallery) collects in one place all the many colour photos and drawings in the articles. There is a map and a bibliography.
This website is published by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and focuses on the discoveries of Homo erectus and associated stone tools in the Indonesian island of Java. A few illustrated articles summarise the state of the research and recent discoveries. The 'diaporama' (picture gallery) collects in one place all the many colour photos and drawings in the articles.
The International Dunhuang Project (IDP), based at the British Library, is a significant international collaboration that is carrying out research on over 100,000 manuscripts, artefacts, and paintings from Dunhuang and other Silk Road sites. The project is placing these textual and image resources on the Internet, together with information on their provenance, history, and cultural context; it is a work in progress and the resulting database is not expected to be completed for several years. Several international partners are co-operating, and this is resulting in a lack of uniformity in the database, as well as in the use of specific languages for collections of records in the database. The website is aimed at both the layman and the specialist. By providing bibliographies, maps, photographs, site plans, and contemporary images, it provides a wonderful insight into life on the Silk Road during the first millennium AD. The IDP bibliography consists of around 10,000 items. There is also a list of the project's own publications, and an IDP Newsletter. There is an excellent map section and a manuscript search facility which enables both simple and quite sophisticated subject searches. Images of the search results are displayed along with metadata about the objects. "My Space" is a feature enabling a record to be kept of the reader's personal searches and information. There are also links to special topics such as: Chinese bookbinding; Buddhism in Central Asia; and an account of Sir Aurel Stein's dogs and travelling companions. The website provides comprehensive information about: the sponsors of the project; its objectives; its activities in conservation and digitisation; and other aspects of the project, both educational and practical. Most available information focuses on manuscripts and textual information, but there is also considerable information of archaeological value: the database contains both pictures of artefacts and historical pictures of excavations. The website is easy to navigate and provides a contact form for feedback.
The project received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (now the AHRC) within the Resource Enhancement scheme, and from a number of other institutions and individuals.
"Japanese Archaeology" is the site of Professor C. T. Keally (Sophia University, Japan) and presents an overview of his written work and research in Japan together with a broad historical background to Japan's archaeology. The site is clearly divided into a number of sections providing general background information on Japanese archaeology and chronologies, specific topic-focussed research reports, photographs of fieldwork projects and news articles on events in Japanese archaeology. The site is largely geared towards Professor Keally's research interests and, as such, the overviews and chronologies are focussed in more detail upon Japan's Prehistoric Period (Palaeolithic, Jomon, Yayoi, Kofun). These areas are complemented by the full-text of a number of Keally's research reports, forming a major part of the site. Aside from a purely academic focus, the site also contains information on working in archaeology in Japan. The site adheres to an extremely basic, and therefore technologically accessible, format and consists largely of text with a few images confined to specific sections. On the rare occasion in which Japanese text is used in the site, it is presented as images, and thus does not require the user to download and install additional browser character sets.
Of general interest is Prof. Keally's paper entitled "A Criticism of Wikipedia", which focuses on Japanese archaeology: there are only few academic reviews of archaeological entries in Wikipedia available, and this one demonstrates how the open format of Wikipedia fails to maintain academic rigour with archaeological interpretations (which can be contested by both scholars with different views or data and amateurs).
This website is published by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and focuses on the site of Altai, Kazakhstan. The few illustrated articles concentrate on the discoveries of tombs and Bronze Age rock art carvings in the area. The 'diaporama' (picture gallery) collects in one place all the many colour photos and drawings in the articles. There is a map and a bibliography.
This webpage presents a field project in Russia, "Klin Yar", directed by Dr Heinrich Härke of the University of Reading. "Klin Yar" features a summary of excavations at the site near Kislovodsk, Russia. The archaeological site contains items which date from the Iron Age to the early medieval period. Graves from the Iron Age Koban Culture, Sarmatian, and Alanic periods have been located there. Klin Yar was chosen as a suitable place for the study of population dynamics, acculturation and ethnogenesis, for a joint project undertaken by teams from the University of Reading and the Ministry of Culture of the Stavropol region. The website is of interest to students, postgraduates or those with a particular interest in the area. The project received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (ARHB).
The website, Le Kalimanthrope, focuses on the rock art of Kalimantan in Borneo, and presents preliminary scientific reports as well as miscellaneous information on the petroglyphs. The website is richly illustrated throughout and contains several articles by the excavators, some of which are available as PDFs. Galleries of images or slideshows of the region are available here and the website also advertises a few scientific and commercial reproductions of rock art (including TV documentaries), which can be bought by contacting the excavators. Hands are the main subject of the Palaeolithic cave art presented in this website. Some hands show recurring patterns of decoration, could represent the symbolic tattoos worn by inhabitants of the region. Most of the pages are in French, but there are also contents in English and the pictures often require little interpretation. This is an essential resource on Palaeolithic art as it informs on a region underrepresented in the archaeological literature.
Living with Heritage (LWH) is an international project based at the University of Sydney, Australia that focuses on Angkor, the capital of the Cambodian Khmer kingdom from the 9th century to the 15th century and now a World Heritage Site. The website is largely incomplete and part of a series of similar websites published by the same university. There are a few preliminary reports and a BA thesis. The extensive and updated bibliographies under section "Resources" may be the most useful part at the time of the review. There are also brief presentations of the members of the research team and recent news. Many contents (especially multimedia contents) are planned to be made available via this website at the end of the research. Researchers may find useful some parts of this website.
This is the official website of the Middle Mekong Archaeology Project (MMAP). The MMAP team is studying caves in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Luang Prabang in the heart of the middle Mekong River basin, in northern Laos. Past surveys in the area have identified "69 archaeological sites and excavations at three cave sites". The website includes a list of involved researchers; contact details; a link to a preliminary report in Antiquity; and the subscription page of a newsletter of the project.
The 2010 field season has been blogged with several pictures, and many more are being published in Flickr. The blog has chronicled the discovery of what appears to be a burial pot from the Iron Age (2000 BC); two bones thought to be human; a piece of skull; and the exploration of a cave called Tham An Mah, once used as a Buddhist temple. Much information focuses on the local ethnography and its is hoped that the blog will be updated with some some results. Some information about this very neglected region may be useful to researchers or students interested in the region.
This website focuses on the ancient settlement of Mohenjo-Daro ('Mound of the Dead'), which was an important centre in the Indus Valley from the Kot Diji phase to the Harappan phase (third millennium BC). This site contains over a hundred photographs of the settlement, an illustrated essay that provides a good introduction to the site, and an extensive bibliography. Mohenjo-Daro traded with Babylon and Mesopotamia; it existed while the Egyptian pyramids were built and was for a time the largest city on Earth: the first urban centre in the Indus Valley and one of the first in the world. Apparently, Mohenjo-Daro was abandoned suddenly, without any clear indication of what may have happened. No destruction layers have been found; no significant changes in the culture and no alterations in the funerary patterns have been detected. It seems that the Indus River changed course, and thereafter a parallel stream, the Saraswati or Ghaggar-Hakra River, dried up. Mohenjo-Daro and other settlements probably experienced depopulation and de-urbanisation rather than destruction and total abandonment. The pictures in this website show a settlement planned in detail, and are very evocative. Lecturers in need of pictures for a presentation or students looking for a concise introduction may find this website useful.
This website is published by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and focuses on the first "empire of the steppes" in Mongolia. A few articles summarise the recent archaeological discoveries of French archaeological mission in the region, which has targeted the newly discovered site of Gol Mod, in the Arhangay province, not far from the previously excavated necropolis of Egyin Gol, near Bulgan, which was inhabited by the Xiongnu people. The mission has discovered at Gol Mod a large necropolis with several "imperial" tombs, each extending on a surface of over one square kilometre at a depth of about ten metres. The 'diaporama' (picture gallery) collects in one place the many colour photos. There is a map and a short bibliography.
"The Mongols in World History" is an educational website part of "Asia for educators" that looks at the Mongols and their Empire, which was one of the largest in history. The website concentrates on several less known aspects such as trade; religion; arts; military tactics; public works; laws; the perils of nomadic life; the cultural significance of several animals (including horses and camels); and others. Of course, the history of Mongolian conquests is also featured. There are also historical biographies of Chinggis (Genghis) Khan (1162?-1227); Khubilai Khan (1215-1294); Ögödei (1185-1241) and Marco Polo (1254-1323?). There are some excerpts in PDF format taken from the book "The Book of Ser Marco Polo: The Venetian Concerning Kingdoms and Marvels of the East" and edited by Colonel Sir Henry Yule; "All the Khan's Horses" by Morris Rossabi; and "Dietary Decadence and Dynastic Decline in the Mongol Empire" by John Masson Smith. Some educational materials have been prepared and will help teachers in using this website for teaching classes. Students and teachers may find this website useful.
This is the official website of the Guimet Museum of Asian art, Paris. The website contains short texts about the history of museum, galleries of photographs about its collections (Afghanistan and Pakistan; Himalaya; Central Asia; China; Korea; India; and Japan); a series of illustrated articles on temporary exhibitions (most are available in the French version only) among which is the lavishly illustrated text on "Afghanistan, les trésors retrouvés" (Afghanistan, rediscovered treasures); a splendid virtual tour of the whole museum using QuickTime panoramas (available in low and high resolution); and other sections for the general public or visitors of the museum. The many pictures may be useful to illustrate presentations or essays. In section "about the museum" are some articles on archaeological research carried out by members of the museum, including the "Indus and Mehrgarh" mission, which has explored Mehrgarh (traces of successive settlements from the aceramic Neolithic period dated between the end of the 8th and the beginning of the 7th millennium BC to 2600 BC, before the beginning of the Indus civilisation); Nausharo (settlement that yielded evidence of the stylistic development of Harappan ceramics); and Pirak (settlement dated at the end of the Indus civilisation, between 1900 and 1800 BC, where the appearance of miniatures of horsemen, horses and two-humped camels, animals previously absent from the archaeological record, suggest significant changes in the society; iron appears from 1200 BC). The article about the French Mongolian mission reports the discovery of two main categories of tombs: "large tombs set on a north-south axis, complete with a funerary walkway ending in a square terrace enclosed by low, dry stone walls; and small tombs, generally circular, surrounded by a ring of flat stones marking the circumference". There are also pictures showing the work done by dentists in 9000 BC Baluchistan. Section "behind the scenes" publishes short illustrated articles about the conservation of artefacts such as a 6th century AD stone funerary couch from China.
The official website of the museum of Oriental Ceramics of Osaka, Japan, includes an illustrated catalogue of its collections (under "collection" in the English version). Among the ceramics are examples of Chinese (Han-Tang; Song-Yuan; and Ming dynasties); Japanese; Vietnamese; and Korean (Silla; Koryo; and Choson dynasties) ceramics. The catalogue can be browsed clicking on a vertical bar with pictures of the artefacts. For each object there is a page usually containing two pictures; a short description; inventory number; height of the artefact; and dynasty. The Japanese version also includes Quicktime VR 3D renditions of selected vessels. This website may be useful to advanced students and researchers already familiar with ancient Asian ceramics.
The official website of the Niigata Prefectural Museum of History in Japan concentrates on the Jomon culture and the history of the Niigata region. A few simple texts with colour pictures introduce some of the arguments. The Research Activities section contains the profiles of the researchers working at the museum, and there are some scientific papers or short articles by Mark Hall (Sarmatian gold, glass and pottery; obsidian in Hokkaido; Jomon pottery) and Toru Miyao (Jomon pottery). In the Publications section it is possible to access English abstracts of papers published in the Bulletin of the Niigata Prefectural Museum of History, and to access some interesting pages written on the occasion of the special exhibit 'Jomonesque Japan'. These provide only an introduction to Jomon culture, and hence are suitable for students. A few archived archaeological news items from the region, and some general information on the museum and its exhibitions are available. Although this website is incomplete and at times confusing, students may find enough information and pictures to complete an assignment on the Jomon culture of Japan. Researchers may find some of the papers on Sarmatian and Jomon material culture useful.
This website displays and discusses rock art found in caves in Nilgiri, separate pages also give details of megalithic burial sites at Thatakurlipatti and Kalampaliyam. The caves, at Akkathangachimoruvar and Wananga Pazham, also contained pottery, which dates their use to approximately 500 BCE. The website shows examples of the rock art from both sites, and there is also a video available of the cave at Wananga Pazham. Individual examples of the art are discussed in some detail. The grave sites are similarly treated, with photographs of the sites themselves as well as of some of the pottery and other artefacts discovered there. A few more images would be nice, as the website only holds a few, while the video shows that there are a large number of paintings that could have been included.
The Origins of Angkor Archaeological Project is a multi-disciplinary research project being undertaken by the University of Otago Department of Anthropology and the Fine Arts Department of Thailand. The aim of the project is to assess the seminal aspects of the social, cultural and technological development in the Mun River valley of Northeast Thailand. Four sites have been excavated, a Bronze Age site Ban Lum Khao, and three Iron Age sites, Non Muang Kao, Noen U-Loke and Prasat Phimai. In addition, recent excavations at Phum Snay and Baksei Chamkrong have begun to shed light on the previously poorly understood prehistory of northern Cambodia. This work has been completed with the assistance of Earthwatch and their volunteers. In the 2002 field season, The Origins of Angkor Project began investigations at a new site in Northeast Thailand, Ban Non Wat. The website of the project provides information on each of the sites excavated, with a virtual excavation of Non Muang Kao where complete site notes and digitised plans are available. In addition there is a long list of references for archaeology in the area, a list of abstracts and titles for current research being carried out by participants, a list of radiocarbon dates obtained for the sites and a slide show of artefacts found (some of these images are quite slow to download).
This website is published by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and focuses on the sites of Samarkand; Koktepe; Derbent in Sogdiana (Bukhara), modern Uzbekistan. A few short articles summarise evidence; the most interesting part is section 'diaporama' (picture gallery), which contains many colour photos. There is a map and a bibliography.
This website is published by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and focuses on the site of Hindou kouch, Pakistan. A few illustrated articles summarise the recent researches in the area by a French archaeological team and concentrate on stone tools. The 'diaporama' (picture gallery) collects in one place all the many colour photos and drawings in the articles. There is a map and a bibliography.
The website of the Peabody Essex Museum provides users with information about current, previous and upcoming exhibitions at the Museum. The collections include Maritime Art and History in addition to Photography (containing many maritime images), and Arts of the Pacific Islands. Details of the collections are included on the site. Specific exhibits are breathtaking: there is a complete Qing dynasty house to explore ('Yin Yu Tang House'). The house is situated in its geographic, cultural and historical context, and the viewer is able to examine every detail of the architecture, living patterns, artwork, furnishings and so forth. Even with such a delightful showcase, the real zing lies within the Artscape engine. Here a viewer can study images from dozens of exhibits, building a bookmark list as they go. ARTscape includes photos and descriptions of objects from the collection plus "definitions, book excerpts, quotations, video clips and audio clips". The Peabody is a museum of art, architecture and culture located in Salem, Massachusetts and founded in 1799. The site contains information about PEM's collections of American decorative arts; its Asian, Indian, Oceanic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, African and Native American art; plus Asian export art, early American architecture, maritime art, rare books and manuscripts and photography. Images of many items from the collections are provided, covering, for example, textiles, furniture, paintings and crafts and the site also provides details and online presentations on current and past exhibitions held at the museum. The museum's holdings are strongest in the Asia-Pacific region, especially East Asia, and the opportunities for comparative or historical work with this tool are staggering.
The Maritime Art and History Collection features the work of Fitz Hugh Lane, Robert Salmon, and James Buttersworth. It is possible to search an image library of 80 items by artist or by subject. Examples of navigational instruments, scrimshaw and folk art are also included on the site. The site also includes: an outline of the holdings of the Phillips Library; a programme of events; visitor information; and press releases. This site was nominated in the competition for Best Museum Professional's Site in 'Museums and the Web 2004: Best of the Web'.
This is the official website of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Penn Museum). The multimedia website of the museum contains information on the collections and research carried out at the museum. The collections span all continents but the information available at the time of review was scanty. A keyword tagging system simplifies accessing research materials, which are as varied as the collections but concentrate on the ancient Near East and South Asia. Wroth singling out is the lab of Biomolecular Archaeology that has carried out important research on ancient wine. The usual general information to visit the museum or access some research offices is also available. Both researchers and students may find the "research section" of this website useful.
This website stores the database produced by the "Predicting the Location of Hominin Sites in Africa and Asia" research project. It contains two parts: a searchable textual database recording all sites with their geographic location and key bibliographic references; and a GIS database, plotting the sites on a map. Together they form a highly specialised tool to further research by helping in visualising the existing sites and predicting the best areas to conduct new research. All data can be consulted using the online interface or downloaded and imported into local software applications. Only researchers and postgraduate students may truly benefit from this work.
This website is the publication of the 27th Bulletin of The University Museum, The University of Tokyo, entitled "Prehistoric hunter-gatherers in Japan: new research methods". Several papers focus on two main topics: the Jomon hunter-gatherers and the physical anthropology of the people of ancient Japan. The first section concentrates on environmental, subsistence, technological, productive and settlement issues. The case of Japan is compared with the neighbouring people in Eurasia and North America about 5,000 years ago. The studies of physical anthropology suggest that there has been continuous immigration from Eurasia into Japan since the Jomon period, but a parallel process was the progressive regionalisation evidenced in comparative studies of the Jomon, Yayoi and Kofun people. The two sets of papers have a common theme in the use of quantitative and comparative analyses. The papers contain a few illustrations, mainly black and white maps and graphics. This website publishes an important 1986 study on the Jomon and other ancient Japanese people and may be useful to both students and researchers of the archaeology of Japan.
This is the official website of the "Gobustan National Historical-Artistic Preserve", a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it focuses on the rock art of Gobustan, Azerbaijan, which may date from the Upper Palaeolithic to the Roman period. This interactive website presents the printed and multimedia bibliography of the archaeological site as well as a minimal demonstration of GIS database that is however not accessible through the website. There are news of recent events such as conferences. An interactive slideshow presents some pictures from the site, but disappointingly no captions. Among the carvings are human figures, animals and ships (possibly the oldest depictions of ships in rock art). The carvings are located within the perimeter outlined by the Beyukdash, Kichikdash and Djingirdash mountains and the hill Yazili. The characteristic mud volcanoes of the region are not mentioned on this website. This is a useful, albeit limited, introduction to the rock art of Gobustan.
This website publishes the important "Radiocarbon Palaeolithic Database Europe" by the International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA) that includes a list of over 8,000 Lower, Middle and Upper Palaeolithic sites across Europe (including Russia and therefore northern Asia). Each record in the database contains the name of the archaeological site; name and contact details of the person who has provided the information; geographical coordinates; the material cultures represented at the site. For many sites additional information is available, including 14C, AMS, TL, OSL, ESR and Th/U chronometric data; environmental (archaeobotanical and archaeozoological) data; and bibliographic references. The database is being developed and future versions will update the existing data and add new information. The database is in Microsoft Access 2002 format, freely accessible (free registration required) and unrestricted and therefore it is possible to use all the advanced features of any version of Microsoft Access version 2002 or above. Prepared reports with the available chronometric data can be printed immediately; personalised reports can be produced and all data can be exported to other programs such as GIS software. It is also possible to add, update or delete data from the personal copy of the database. It is also possible to download an empty copy of the database to produce similar databases for other regions. An additional file (KML format) permits to map all archaeological sites with Google Earth or NASA WorldWind using the provided geographical coordinates. Basic instructions on the available files and details to download the files are provided in the website. This database is an essential research and reference tool for all archaeologists interested in Palaeolithic Europe. It is highly recommended that all interested researchers and advanced students download a copy and contribute to its development.
This resource consists of a virtual exhibition based on the Provincial Museum of Alberta's 'Rise of the Black Dragon: Cultural Treasures from China' exhibition which ran from 9th October 1999 to 9th January 2000. The exhibition focuses on Heilongjiang Province in northeast China (part of the region formerly known in the west as Manchuria) and charts its development in the Neolithic period, growth in the early Iron Age (Tang Dynasty) and rise to prominence during the Jin Period and Ming Dynasty. The website consists of a number of short but well illustrated articles dealing with each phase of Heilongjiang Province's development. The illustrations are thumb-nailed and linked to larger captioned versions and also accessible through two separate gallery sections located in the 'Dragon Bytes' page. The Dragon Bytes section also contains a number of smaller articles on different aspects Chinese history and archaeology. The website also contains a short page on the sister relationship, established in 1981, between Alberta, Canada and Heilongjiang, China together with a 'Find Out More' bibliography and links section. The site is well designed and easy to use via a side navigation bar and footer links.
This is the highly dynamic and colourful website on the Saitobaru Burial Mounds, situated in south-eastern Kyushu in Japan. It is best accessed with Internet Explorer or using the access pages for new browsers, which are compatible with any browser supporting Adobe Flash. The archaeological site includes 311 burial mounds built during the Kofun period (3rd-7th century AD). The group includes various types of burial mounds amongst which are the unique key-hole shaped tumuli and lateral-entry underground tombs. The tumuli are believed to be related to the Imperial family. Although excavations were undertaken from 1912 to 1917 as one of the first systematic scientific excavations in Japan, the site has not been fully investigated; new excavations and projects have however started recently. The archaeological site was designated as a Special Historical Site in 1952, and is now a historical park. The website offers a Virtual Tour of the area as a set of annotated interactive panoramas along with information about the site and the ability to search a database of information and images of the tumuli. A children's corner offers a basic course in Tumuli. The website can be accessed in parallel English and Japanese versions, and has been created by the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs as a model for a multimedia strategy for the conservation of cultural properties.
This website describes a project to analyse and document the Salt Range Temples of Pakistan, important monuments in the history of South Asian temple architecture dating from the 6th to the 11th century. It is a joint venture between the University of Pennsylvania, the Department of Archaeology at the University of Peshawar, and the Pakistan Heritage Society. This resource studies the architecture and architectural sculpture of the temples. It features many images of the temples of Upper Pakistan including photographs, plans and drawings. The site includes a typescript of an article, "Temples Along the Indus" by Michael Meister, from the University of Pennsylvania Museum's journal, "Expedition". There is also a link to the Pakistan Heritage Society's home page.
This website outlines the ongoing Sealinks Project at the University of Oxford. The multidisciplinary research project focuses on the earliest Indian Ocean seafarers. The website contains information on the project; a list of publications (including a few available full-text in PDF format); fieldwork and postgraduate degree opportunities for students and the list of staff, students and volunteers involved in the project. Researchers and postgraduate students in particular may find this website useful.
This website is a portal on the Archaeology and Ethnography of Northern Asia (Siberia) and is available only in Russian. It lists archaeological news from all over the world; it publishes a statistical package especially built for archaeologists; it contains table of contents of the "Археология, этнография и антропология Евразии" (Archaeology, Ethnography and Anthropology of Eurasia) journal; and the full-text journals СИБИРСКИЙ ЭТНОГРАФИЧЕСКИЙ ВЕСТНИК (Siberian Ethnographic Herald), "АРХЕОЛОГИЧЕСКОЕ ОБОЗРЕНИЕ" (Electronic Journal of Archaeological Survey), "СИБИРСКОЕ АРХЕОЛОГИЧЕСКОЕ ОБОЗРЕНИЕ" (Siberian Archaeological Bulletin), "ГУМАНИТАРНЫЕ НАУКИ В СИБИРИ" (Journal of Humanitarian sciences in Siberia), and the electronic newsletter "Компьютеры и археология" (Computers and Archaeology). Further papers and publications are available scattered across the website.
Section Энциклопедии (encyclopaedias) contains a number of online encyclopaedias focusing on Siberia (e.g. the Altai culture), a few with unreliable translations in German and English. This website also lists external resources. It is a treasure-trove for Russian speakers and those studying or researching the archaeology or ethnography of Siberia.
Silk Road Seattle is an online education project from the University of Washington, which provides visual, textual and multimedia resources for learning and teaching about the history and culture of the Silk Road trade route. The website explores the cities and architecture, geography, archaeology and traditional cultures of the Silk Road (extending as far as the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean through Central Asia and China) in photographs and text. Comprehensive maps (some interactive), translations of historic texts related to the Silk Road, and teaching and learning resources for further and higher education teachers are also provided. A notable feature of the site is its virtual exhibition, which provides textual information on religion, trade, customs and intercultural exchange along the Silk Road. The text is accompanied by selected photographs of related museum exhibits from around the world. A separate section on museum collections acts as a gateway to notable exhibitions related to the region in internationally renowned museums. The site is quick and simple to navigate. It is presented in a user-friendly style, and is an excellent resource for teachers and students in higher and further education. Of particular interest may be a first-hand account of a Kyrgyz wedding, in a section devoted to customs of central Asia. The account includes video clips of the bride as she progresses through the ceremony. Similarly impressive is a translation of sections of the Manas, a sung epic poem from the Kyrgyz people, with video clips of recitations from eminent Manas singers.
This is the website of the Society for East Asian Archaeology, an international association of professional archaeologists, scholars, and students from different academic fields, as well as members of the public, formed in 1996. The site provides information about the Society and its four-yearly conferences and publications. The Bulletin of the Society is published online on the site and contains shorter articles such as field reports, conference reports, book reviews, and descriptions of museums and places of interest. The Notice Board section comprises: conferences and lectures; papers read; a journal update; jobs and grants; new books; museums and exhibitions; dissertation abstracts; and 'noteworthies' (media stories and announcements). Details of the forthcoming SEAA conference appear in another section, while the Archive provides past Notice Board items and details of past conferences, with abstracts. There is also a Members' Area. Finally, a substantial Links and Resources section includes: museums in various countries; other archaeological societies; conferences and meetings; and special topics.
The Southeast Asian Archaeology Newsblog is a useful blog publishing or re-publishing many news about Asia. All contents are tagged and can be easily browsed or accessed. There are announcements of new books and a few papers; the website also publishes some calls for papers and notices of talks and special lectures.
An interesting feature are the podcasts; many have been produced by the author especially for this blog and include transcripts. There are video podcasts of special exhibitions (e.g. the "Treasures of the South China Sea") hosted by YouTube; audio podcasts (e.g. Perak Man at the Lenggong Archaeological Museum in Malaysia); podcasts of lectures (e.g. "Shipwrecks & Their Cargos in the Philippines" by Dr Eusebio Dizon), and radio interviews (e.g. "Archaeology in Singapore", illicit trade of Angkor Wat antiquities on eBay).
This website may be useful to students and he general public interested in the archaeology of Southeast Asia, though the presence of some broader themes may attract a wider audience.
This website by a research group at the University of Pennsylvania publishes some datasets that will be useful primarily to specialist researchers. The datasets include skeletal data from the cemetery of Ban Chiang, an important ancient site in northern Thailand and a World Heritage Site; a bibliographic database. A metallurgical data should be added in the near future (not yet available at the time of review). The skeletal data include an updated version of the CD-ROM published with the book "Ban Chiang, a Prehistoric Village Site in Northeast Thailand I: The Human Skeletal Remains" by Michael Pietrusewsky and Michele Toomay Douglas (ISBN 0924171928) and data from Non Nok produced by Michele Toomay Douglas for her doctoral dissertation. All datasets are available in both Microsoft Access 2000 database and comma-delimited text formats and appropriate notes for the interpretation of the data are available on the download page. The osteological data include several measurements; cranial capacities; data on teeth and dental pathologies; pathological conditions and evidence of osteoarthritis. To access the bibliographic database it is necessary a registration for technical reasons, but it is very quick and no personal data are required. The database is frequently updated and includes journal articles; doctoral dissertations; edited books; monographs; and reviews focusing on the whole of Asia, including India; Thailand; Malaysia; Indonesia; China; Polynesia; Japan; and the Philippines; some papers can also be downloaded in PDF format. This is a very useful website for researchers interested in the archaeology of South-East Asia.
The "Teaching Chinese Archaeology" website was created as a set of learning materials for the past "The Golden Age of Chinese Archaeology: Celebrated Discoveries from The People's Republic of China" exhibition at the National Gallery of Art. The materials presented consist of short introductions to major topics centred on key artefacts that are then analysed in greater detail. There is a bibliography suitable for beginners and there are also teaching resources suggesting a range of activities suitable for schools and universities (the level of individual activities is specified). There is also a useful pronunciation guide. Undergraduate students in particular may find this website useful.
India is a country rich in temples ranging over 2000 years and exhibiting a great variety of regional variations. Kanniks Kannikeswaran has compiled information on and images of hundreds of temples from the Indian sub-continent. Access to this archive is either by deity or geographically. The temples have detailed descriptions of the architecture, decoration, iconography and history and also information on legends and festivals associated with them. Further background information is available on the various deities, beliefs and legends and regional variations in architectural styles. A glossary explains various terms pertaining to Indian Temples that may be encountered in the website. This is a very extensive website with substantial cross linking, positively encouraging exploration. Most pages have a navigation bar on the left but it is possible to leave the site and get lost.
This website is published by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and focuses on the site of Ban Wang Hi, Thailand. A few illustrated articles summarise the archaeological evidence, including discoveries at the necropolis. The 'diaporama' (picture gallery) collects in one place all the many colour photos and drawings in the articles. There are maps and a bibliography.
This website is published by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and focuses on the site of Patani, Thailand. A few articles summarise the archaeological evidence on the site since the fifteenth century. This was the period of the spread of Islam in the region and the arrival of subsequent western colonisers (from the Netherlands, Portugal and Great Britain). A French archaeological team has dug on the site during 1997 and 1998 and a short preliminary report is included. There is a map and a bibliography.
This website is published by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and focuses on the site of Mae Hong Son, Thailand. A few articles summarise recent and still unpublished discoveries of the earliest human presence in the region. One article sets the region in a wider context of worldwide human migrations. The 'diaporama' (picture gallery) collects in one place all the many colour photos in the articles. There is a map of the region and contact details of the researchers.
The Tokyo National Museum (TNM) website provides access to a wide range of information regarding the museum's activities and collections. The museum collects, houses, and displays a comprehensive collection of art works and antiquities from Japan, other Asian countries and the Middle East and Egypt. It also conducts research and investigations into items within its collections. The website is divided neatly into six main sections: Exhibitions; Events; Today's TNM; The TNM Collection; Museum Guide; News. The first two of these sections detail present and upcoming exhibitions (both regular and thematic) and events such as lectures and gallery talks. In addition 'Today's TNM' lists similar information on a day-to-day basis and includes a calendar for the present and following month to allow quick overviews of events on particular days. Other more general information and press releases are also provided via a News section. The museum guide section, which is also available in a number of other languages, provides information on opening hours, access, visitor guidelines and details of the museum shop.
The bulk of the website is, however, contained within the TNM Collection section which allows access to photos and brief information on some of the outstanding works contained within the museum's collections. The TNM Collection section provides access to the object via their type category (archaeology, calligraphy, sculpture, decorative arts, painting and 'others') or via their region. The images themselves are thumb-nailed and accompanied by a short descriptive text for quick browsing and, once the full record is viewed, the photo can be viewed at a number of different sizes. The website is well designed and very easy to navigate. The collection images are of very high quality and are easy to view (although all lack a scale). The website also includes details on museum publications, as well as its history and organisation. The site can be accessed in parallel English and Japanese versions.
This website is published by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and focuses on the site of Geoktchik Depe and the region of Dehistan, in Turkmenistan. There are several illustrated articles summarising the archaeological evidence and including recent discoveries. The region was inhabited since the second millennium BC. The 'diaporama' (picture gallery) collects in one place all the many colour photos and drawings in the articles. There is a map and a bibliography.
This is the website of "The University of Sydney Central Asian Programme". The programme is an initiative designed to promote research into the landscape and culture of the Central Asian states. Under this programme the Karakalpak-Australian Expedition was established with the aim to study the history and archaeology of ancient Chorasmia, a land in existence between the 7th Century BC and the 7th Century AD in the north-west of modern day Uzbekistan. The website outlines the expedition's history and provides information on the archaeological sites concerned, supported by thumbnailed photographs. Information on the programme's School's Support Project is also available, while a Maps page provides large JPEGs of 19th and 20th century maps of the area.
Ani was the former capital of a Medieval Armenian kingdom, at its height in the 11th Century, when it was known as the "city of 1001 churches". Uninhabited for three centuries it has suffered much neglect and destruction. This website provides extensive documentation of the city's history, layout and buildings, including many maps, photographs, architectural plans and renderings. There is a glossary and an online bulletin board. In addition to Ani, the resource provides information about several medieval Armenian churches, monasteries and castles located elsewhere in Turkey. Ani is in a military zone near the current Turkish-Armenian border and its management by the Turkish authorities is controversial. The creator of this resource is anonymous, but is critical of the way Turkey has managed the archeological site.
This website presents the World Cultural and Natural Heritage sites of China as a set of slide shows with brief details on the location and, where appropriate, the history. Heritage sites include the Great Wall, the Imperial Palace (Forbidden City), Mount Taishan, the Summer Palace, The Ancient City of Pingyao, the ancient city of Lijiang, and other sites. This website may be useful primarily to students.
The World of Xuanzang and Silk Road website focuses on the Silk Road as it was during the voyages of Xuanzang (596-664), a translator of Buddhist scriptures that visited India. The website (mostly in Chinese) contains bibliographic databases; news; interactive maps of the Silk Road, with short articles; galleries of pictures on arts and artefacts; a timeline; the biography of Xuanzang and the records of the Western Regions. There are also games and other educational materials, as well as a few videos. Unfortunately, the website was plagued by several broken links at the time of review, but the available contents are sufficient to recommend it to researchers.
This website, focusing on the archaeology of Sri Lanka, is part of Virtual Library Sri Lanka by Rohan Hettiarachchi. It is a collection of news and short articles (with variable quality), some illustrated and some hosted on other websites, on many aspects of ancient Sri Lanka. Topics covered by the articles include: prehistoric settlements; the earliest civilisations of Sri Lanka; the archaeological sites of Pallemalala and Walallawita; the ancient ports of Sri Lanka; the Chinese cultural presence and influence in Sri Lanka (Yapahuwa, ceramics, trade); clay stamp seals; moonstones; marine archaeology (including European shipwrecks); Dutch and Portuguese forts; and historical tsunamis. A separate page on heritage contains in a similar format numerous articles on ancient and historical art and architecture. There are references to myths and these are clearly evidenced. This website can be an excellent introduction to the archaeology of Sri Lanka for undergraduates or scholars unfamiliar with the region; there are some bibliographic references. Some of the articles penned by scholars may also be useful to researchers.
This project aims to articulate the processes underlying the evolution of ancient societies where the earliest Chinese states emerged. Focussing on the Yi-Luo Valley region in Western Henan, an international group of archaeologists has analysed the growth and expansion of settlements from the Late Peiligang to the Zhou period (about 6,000 BC to 206 BC). A full report on the project is now available online as a special issue of the journal "Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association"; all sections are available as independent papers in PDF format.