The Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) is the first museum in the region to present a broad yet integrated perspective of pan-Asian cultures and civilisations. ACM seeks to promote a better appreciation of the rich cultures that make up Singapore's multi-ethic society. ACM's collection focuses on the material cultures of the different groups originating from China, Southeast Asia, South Asia and West Asia.

If you are interested in finding more about the Asian Civilisation Museum, you can go to these links: Website, Wikipedia, News Asia Singapore.

When we were at the Asian Civilisation Museum, we looked the different civilisations and different artefacts to learn more about the past.

"Change and Continuity" in the ancient civilisation:
what does it mean?

Southeast Asia:
Champa Civilisation
One of the earliest regions in Southeast Asia to adapt the Indian cultural influence, central Vietnam was home to the Cham people.

At its height (amid 7th to mid 8th centuries). Champa comprised of 5 kingdoms. These stretched along 1000 kilometers of coastline from Hoanh Sea in the north to Binh Thuan in the south. They were centered around trading points situated on river estuaries which served merchants traveling between West Asia and China. Cham merchants controlled much of the trade in commodities such as salt, horse and slaves, along this route.

New religious ideas were also carried along the maritime route. The earliest Hindu temples were built in brick at the royal centre in My Son in Guang Nam province around the late 4th century. Monks are thought to have introduced Mahayana Buddhism, which flourished at the centres such as Dond Duong from the 8th century onwards. Islam was also introduced around the 11th century and by 17th century, was well established. These religions were adapted and co-existed with indigenous animistic beliefs and ancestor worship.

Temples dedicated to royal ancestors, stone sculptures, precious metal images and jewellery, are amongst the important material legacy of Champa. Stylistic similarities with Indian, Chinese and regional traditions, that can often be seen, reflect the exchanges that took place between Champa and these cultures.

Chin Fan looking at the Map of Southeast Asia
how did they deal with their constraints and how did their responses contribute to the social, cultural and technological changes that occurred in Asia?

The Buddhas along with the earrings.
Architectural Wall Relief of Lion

1. Architectural Wall Relief of Lion
The lion, along with other reliefs, are embellishments (decorative detail/feature) for the walls of Cham temples, during the Champa civilisation. The rampant lion standing on its hind legs with teeth bared, was typical of Cham lions of this period. The lion would probably have been positioned around the base of the temple walls.

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2. Lokeshvara
This rare gold and silver figure of the Buddhist deity Lokeshvara (Lord of the world), stands with the right hand in abhaya mudra (gesture of fearlessness) and a holy water bottle in the left hand. The torso is decorated with elaborate jewellery made in repouss√© technique. The eyes are set with rubies whilst the palms of the hands are engraved with dharmachakra or Wheel of Buddhist Law motifs. The silver skirt is tied with a looped sash at the waist and has multiple folds engraved on each side. The gold foil feet were made separately and inserted at the base of the skirt. 

Within the tall hairdo is a seated figure of the Buddha Amitabha. A cavity at the top once held two miniature gold scrolls, which when open, reveal incised marks that were probably intended as sacred script. 
Lokeshvara is thought to have been worshipped for his compassion and supernatural powers . A cult of this particular bodhisattva (one who foregoes Enlightenment for the sake of helping others) appears to have taken place in the 9th and early 10th centuries. Inscriptions with his name have been found at Cham temples built at this time. Similar figures found in Yunnan, suggest that Lokeshvara was also worshipped there and that there was a close relationship with Champa at this time. The rarity of these figures may be due to their being melted down. Stone inscriptions mention that certain gold images made specially for temples were stolen during invasions.
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3. Gold Lime Container
The knobbed cover of this container has a bronze spatula attached, which suggests that the vessel was used to store a substance such as lime-paste. Although there are no remains of lime, Southeast Asian cultures have long required such objects for dispensing the ingredients used in betel-chewing especially on ceremonial occasions. Such elaborate wares were expensive and reflected wealth of their

If you are interested in finding more about the Gold Lime Container, you can go to the(se) link(s):