Archive for March, 2009

26
Mar
09

Moment of disgrace

I am back early from the fieldwork. I was supposed to work in the field until the end of the month, but yesterday, i was involved in a fight with two kids (or more appropriately, brats) who worked as local labours for the excavation.  No kicks or punches were thrown, it was more of a heated argument.  Although they did threaten me, like i would be scared.

It all started because I asked my colleague, who was in charged of the site, to get them to work. That’s right. To WORK. Because most of the time, i would see them lounging at the table, sitting down and smoking cigarettes, when they were supposed to work. And when they did work, they were tremendously slow.  It was not the first time that someone actually voiced out displeasure at them for being lazy assholes. Another friend actually did that two days ago. And what did they do? They answered with all kinds of excuses. These assholes cannot work as workers. Perhaps they are better suited as bosses. Because they cannot work and receive criticisms and orders from anybody.  But will they ever be bosses? I bet they are going to end up losers for the rest of their lives. Why would they have been employed as local labours in the first place? Means that in the first place, they were probably unemployed with nothing better to do.

In the end, I was asked by my colleague’s supervisor to return to Penang for my safety’s sake. And the two brats? They got fired immediately. Padan muka!!!

At the same time, I feel very sorry for my colleague for the trouble that I have caused. I never intended for that thing to happen. And I am very sorry that because of the firing of the two assholes, the excavation team is for the moment short of workers.  Oh well.

26
Mar
09

Untitled

some pictures from the Sungai Batu, Lembah Bujang excavations

Excavation at Sungai Batu, Lembah Bujang

Excavation at Sungai Batu, Lembah Bujang

The site is located in an oil palm plantation

The site is located in an oil palm plantation

A beautiful sunset seen from the rented house where i lived during the fieldwork

A beautiful sunset seen from the rented house where i lived during the fieldwork

18
Mar
09

In the field

Today is my second day of excavation. I am at a site called Sungai Batu in Kedah, nearby Bujang Valley. Preliminary interpretation tentatively determined the site to be an iron smelting factory or workshop. Because work is still in progress and with reports so far unpublished, i guess that is the only thing i can say about the site. It’s not new information anyway, since the excavation was publicized in the papers, a few weeks ago (see older posts).

This particular site is a tough one. My palms and fingers hurt. The dirt is mainly hardened clay. Our main excavation tools consist of ice picks and mallets. It’s is interesting though because this is  my first time being involved in the excavation of a protohistoric site, since my work mainly concerns the prehistoric period.

16
Mar
09

Gone digging

I will be going on an excavation for the next two weeks at a site in Bujang Valley where recently they have found evidence of iron smelting. Hopefully, i will be posting about the excavation in a few days time.

13
Mar
09

Archaeology in art

Archaeological sites are good photography subjects. Being a photography enthusiast myself, I have seen many beautiful and artsy images of well-known archaeological sites, such as the Pyramids in Egpyt, the Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, Angkor Wat and Borobodur, just to name a few. Those who read the National Geographic magazine, for example, will be used to seeing such pictures.

Now, the Guggenheim is featuring the works of Isamu Noguchi, a famous Japanese-American sculptor, some of which are photographs of various archaeological sites around the world.

Check out some of the brilliant images here:

Archaeology as Modern Art

Hand of Buddha, 5th century AD, Nepal

Hand of Buddha, 5th century AD, Nepal (www.archaeology.org)

07
Mar
09

Pulau Kapas, Terengganu, 1-2 March 2009

Pulau Kapas…what can i say, heavenly! It’s a small island, i must say, which might be a turnoff to some people. No shopping, no restaurants, no souvenir shops, and not that many places of interest to go to, unlike say, Langkawi, or even Pulau Pangkor. And at Pulau Kapas there is definitely none of the havoc and commercialism that you find on other major tourist islands like Phuket or Bali. Which i must say, is a good thing. What else do you need if you are on an island? Isn’t the beach and the vast ocean enough? For me, i can just chill the whole day, do nothing, or just lie down on the sand, read a book, swim. And repeat.

The water at Pulau Kapas is simply stunning! Three tones!!! (what i mean by that is the colour of the water – three shades/tones of blue). The beach is long, and you can always find some secluded corner if you want to get away from the crowded sections of the beach. And the people there are super-duper friendly. I made a few friends on my last trip to Pulau Kapas, and that made the place seem like a second home to me. No matter where i travel, or how many other islands i’ve seen or will see, Pulau Kapas is definitely a place that i will visit again, and again, and again, and again…

Pictures are worth a thousand words…so i will let the pictures do the talking.

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05
Mar
09

Recent archaeological finds in Bujang Valley

Excavations conducted by the Centre for Global Archaeological Research, Universiti Sains Malaysia at a protohistoric site in Sungai Batu have revealed evidence of a smelting factory. The site has been dated to the third or fourth century AD. Read more at these links:

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/3/5/nation/20090305075838&sec=nation

http://kosmo.com.my/kosmo/content.asp?y=2009&dt=0305&pub=Kosmo&sec=Negara&pg=ne_01.htm

http://nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Thursday/National/2496538/Article/index_html




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