Southeast Asian Archaeology

Southeast Asian archaeology is an important, if poorly known, aspect of the world's past. The University of Hawaii leads the country in its Southeast Asian archaeology program. No other graduate archaeology program in the United States has comparable historical depth, archaeological collections, and resident expertise in this area. Southeast Asian archaeology has been an important component of the UH Archaeology program since the early 1960s, through the pioneering work of Wilhelm Solheim. Since then, UH faculty and students have undertaken field and analytical research throughout much of Southeast Asia. Although the UH is historically recognized for its archaeological work in Thailand (Ban Chiang) and the Philippines, research since the mid-1980s has also concentrated on Indonesia, Cambodia (LOMAP), and now Vietnam and Burma.

We offer classroom training at the undergraduate and graduate levels in Southeast Asian and Asian archaeology, and research opportunities in Southeast Asian archaeology and physical anthropology. Students have opportunities to gain analytical experience with our archaeological and skeletal collections from Cambodia, Thailand, and the Philippines. Ongoing fieldwork in southern Cambodia, through the Lower Mekong Archaeological Project (project co-director Miriam Stark), provide one of many fieldwork possibilities for the interested student. We also work actively with our colleagues from Southeast Asia and elsewhere to facilitate fieldwork opportunities for our students. Funding from the Luce Foundation Initiative in East and Southeast Asian Archaeology and Early History has also enabled our department to host the Luce Asian Archaeology Program. Our recent alumnus, Dr. Stephen Acabado (University of Guam), is hosting a 2012 archaeological field school in the northern Philippines province of Ifugao that will include participants in the Luce Asian Archaeology Program. He welcomes applicants from any accredited university to apply for this field school, which runs from May 31-July 1, 2012. 

The strength of University of Hawaii's program in Southeast Asian archaeology, however, extends beyond the departmental bounds. The University of Hawaii has one of the leading Centers for Southeast Asian Studies in the country, and regularly offers language courses in 7 different Southeast Asian languages (Vietnamese, Khmer, Thai, Burmese, Indonesian, Taglaog, Ilocano). We are fortunate to have several excellent Southeast Asian historians on faculty (particularly Dr. Michael Aung-Thwin, Dr. Barbara Andaya, and Dr. Leonard Andaya) who regularly lend their expertise to graduate students in archaeology. The roster increases with an impressive list of affiliated faculty at UH and at the East-West Center who play in important role in the instruction and advising of students who choose to study Southeast Asian archaeology in the UH Anthropology program.

A website to facilitate scholarly exchange in the field of Southeast Asian archaeology and anthropology has been created by Christopher King, University of Hawai`i, in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania Museum, Ban Chiang Project. The website came online July 9, 2001 and begins with a searchable bibliography with an initial database of over 3500 references. Users can search for references in various ways, mark the ones they need, then automatically display them in one of a dozen different journal styles pertinent to archaeologists and physical anthropologists. Users can also export the references into their personal bibliography database programs. The URL is
We encourage interested students to learn more about Southeast Asian archaeology by consulting some of the many links to web sites listed below. You may also contact us directly ( to learn more about our program.

Some Resources in Southeast Asian Archaeology