Australian Historic Shipwreck Preservation Project (16 April – 11 May 2012)
The Archaeology Unit (AU) gave financial travel assistance to Southeast Asian archaeologists interested in pursuing a four-week underwater archaeology fieldwork program at the Clarence (1850) shipwreck in Port Phillip Bay, near the city of Melbourne, in Australia, with a maximum of SGD$2,000 per applicant. After a call for applications in February 2012, four applicants were selected. The applicants were asked to give a presentation on their fieldwork experience at the Institute of Southeast Asian studies, at a half-day symposium held on May 31st, 2012, entitled, “Symposium: Southeast Asian Underwater Archaeology.”
For more information regarding the AHSP project, please visit their official website: http://www.ahspp.org.au/
Myanmar-Singapore Archaeology Training and Research Project (27 December 2013 to 12 January 2014)
The AU conducted a Myanmar-Singapore Archaeology Training and Research Project in collaboration with the Myanmar Ministry of Culture and the University Of Yangon Department Of Archaeology between 27 December 2013 to 12 January 2014 in Yangon, Pyay, and Bagan. The objective of the project was to gather data on life in the ancient royal palace of Bagan. ISEAS funded 10 Myanmar nationals for the training project.
The Archaeology Programme for Students by the Archaeology Unit
The Archaeology Programme for Students (APS) is part of the Archaeology Unit’s (AU) outreach activities to promote archaeology and its concomitant skills to local students. The APS has two main objectives, namely, to provide participants with an understanding of the post-excavation process, and to inculcate an appreciation for archaeology as a discipline for understanding our past. Participants are based at the ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute and will enjoy the hands-on experience of cleaning and documenting 14th century artefacts excavated at Empress Place.
From January 2016 to January 2017, a total of 72 students from six different educational institutions participated in the APS. These students came from Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), St. Andrew’s Junior College, Yishun Junior College, Nanyang Junior College, Temasek Junior College and the Homeschool Organisation. The APS may run for 2 days to a month depending on the requirements of the participants.
During the APS, participants assisted their mentors in the cleaning, sorting and packing of the artefacts. They also discovered the intricacies of archaeology through lectures by experts and practitioners, group discussions and fieldtrips to the museums. These lectures and discussions imparted valuable lessons on the various types of archaeological studies and the conceptual tools to better understand societies and civilisations of the past. The fieldtrips to the museums showcased 30 years of archaeological pursuits in Singapore as well as information on other archaeological endeavours within the region.
At the end of each APS, participants were invited to fill up a survey to evaluate their experience. The overall feedback has been positive. Participants stated that the APS was a “great experience” for them. They learnt a lot about archaeology, and understood its importance and usefulness in understanding about the past. One of the participants wrote that “this whole programme was exciting, fun and enjoyable. I feel that it allows people to make new friendships, bond and interact with one another. It also enables us to learn more about archaeology in general, as well as its unique feature”. Such feedback will enable AU to fine-tune and improve the APS in order to ensure an enriching learning experience for future participants.