Recent Research in Southeast Asia: A Tribute to Peter Bellwood

Article excerpt


The Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association (IPPA) is the product of a long history of archaeological discourse and collaboration, which began in 1929, in the colonial era, under the auspices of the Pacific Science Association (Golson 1998). The formation of the Far Eastern Prehistory Association (FEPA, 1953-76) was a response to the changing political landscape of the years following World War II, while the transition to IPPA in 1976 marked a further adaptation to the post-colonial situation. The principal objectives of the association are to promote cooperation in the study of the prehistory of Eastern Asia (70[degrees] E longitude) and the Pacific region; to maintain scholarly communication through regular congresses, communications, and the IPPA Bulletin; to promote ethical standards in archaeological research. The association currently has more than 600 members in over 35 countries.

During its history, IPPA has been presided over by many eminent archaeologists, including Wilhelm Solheim II (1976-80), Jack Golson (1980-84), V.N. Misra (1984-88), the late Roger Green (1988-92), R.A. Soejono (1992-96), Pisit Charaoenwongsa (1996-2000), Adi Haji Taha (2000-2004),Tsang Cheng-hwa (2004-2008) and Nguyen Giang Hai (2008-2010). At the end of 2009, Peter Bellwood stepped down as Secretary-General and Editor of the IPPA Bulletin, positions he had held since 1978. In recognition of his contribution to Southeast Asian and Pacific prehistory and IPPA, a session entitled 'Forty years of Austronesian prehistory: a retrospective' was organised for the nineteenth congress of the Indo-Pacific Congress held at the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences in Hanoi, 29 November-5 December 2009.

Charles Higham opened the proceedings with light-hearted reminiscences of discussions between Peter and himself as students at Cambridge 45 years ago about prospects in the Antipodes which had seen a migration of Cambridge archaeologists over the previous decade. …