"Archaeology has come of age in the last century; today thousands of archaeologists work across the globe to unearth remains of our collective ancient past. Asia's rich archaeological record contains valuable clues regarding our origins and transformations, and the more we learn about Asian archaeology the more we are forced to rewrite world archaeology.
Yet despite East and Southeast Asia's obvious importance, most of its archaeological past remains obscure to the Western world. Few archaeologists are even familiar with the region beyond such world heritage sites as the Great Wall, Emperor Qin's tomb, and ancient temples like Angkor Wat."
– Miriam Stark, Professor, UH Mānoa Department of Anthropology
The Henry Luce Foundation's Initiative on East and Southeast Asian Archeology and Early History made an investment in understanding our past by awarding $500,000 to the Department of Anthropology. These funds benefit the program "Building and Maintaining Asian Contacts: Enhancing Asian Archaeology, Training and Research at UH Mānoa."
The funds support the development of a training program that brings junior professional archaeologists from East and Southeast Asia to UH Mānoa for an intensive year of language study, technical training, and professionalization to help them function more effectively on the international stage. Because many Asian archaeologists lack the time, funding and linguistic skills to complete a graduate degree, the program will provide training opportunities for Southeast Asian and Chinese individuals at a junior stage in their careers who are involved in the archeology/heritage management field.
The UH Mānoa Anthropology program has a longstanding tradition in Asian archaeology. Their focus, until recently, has been in Southeast Asian archaeology. More recently this program has added East Asian archaeology. The Luce Foundation's institutional grant, including support for the new faculty line, will enable the department to dedicate more resources to teaching and research relevant to the region.