The Archaeology of Mainland Southeast Asia: From 10,000 B.C. to the Fall of Angkor

The Archaeology of Mainland Southeast Asia: From 10,000 B.C. to the Fall of Angkor

by Charles Higham
     
 

Southeast Asia was the scene of one of the world's major civilisations, that of Angkor, until it was sacked in the early fifteenth century. The origins of Angkor were barely known until recent archaeological excavation and field research began to reveal the region's dynamic prehistoric development and to raise new questions to serve in its understanding.

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Overview

Southeast Asia was the scene of one of the world's major civilisations, that of Angkor, until it was sacked in the early fifteenth century. The origins of Angkor were barely known until recent archaeological excavation and field research began to reveal the region's dynamic prehistoric development and to raise new questions to serve in its understanding.

This important new synthesis focuses on the social world of early mainland Southeast Asia: Thailand, Vietnam, Kampuchea, Laos and adjacent areas. The book begins when the area was occupied 12,000 years ago by hunters and gatherers. The author stresses the importance of sedentism and domestication. These encouraged the spread of coastal communities into the interior valleys. Particular relevance is seen in the exchange of valuables, including bronze, as symbols of status.

The origins of civilisation, for long assumed to result from Indian expansion in the region, are seen as rooted in local changes, along with the selective adoption of Indian religious and political ideas within coastal chiefdoms. In bridging the gap between prehistory and history, this book will appeal not only to archaeologists but to those interested in the general history, culture and arts of Asia.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521275255
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
05/11/1989
Series:
Cambridge World Archaeology Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
404
Product dimensions:
6.85(w) x 9.72(h) x 0.83(d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrationsvii
Acknowledgementsxiii
Chronological tablexv
1Introduction1
Aspects of diversity1
The personality of Southeast Asia5
The history of archaeology in Southeast Asia15
Themes and approaches28
2Hunter-gatherer communities and early domestication31
The coast and hills of Bac Bo33
Coastal groups in Viet Nam43
A hunting and gathering tradition in the North Thai uplands45
The Northern Thai uplands: summary59
The hunter-gatherer occupation of the Chao Phraya plains61
Coastal settlement round the Gulf of Siam65
Domestication80
3The expansion of domestic communities90
The Khorat plateau92
A general cultural framework99
Non Nok Tha99
Ban Chiang106
Ban Na Di113
Other excavated sites in the northern Khorat plateau117
The southern Khorat plateau: Ban Chiang Hian and related sites121
Dating General Periods A and B123
The subsistence basis of General Periods A and B130
The human remains139
The material culture of General Periods A and B141
The social organisation153
The lower Chao Phraya valley157
The lower Mekong and its hinterland169
The coastal plains of Central Viet Nam173
The Bac Bo Region175
The expansion of domestic communities and the adoption of bronze-working185
4The end of autonomy and emergence of chiefdoms190
Bac Bo: the Dong Son phase192
The Chao Phraya plains204
The Khorat plateau209
The uplands of Laos228
The Vietnamese coastal plains230
The transition from autonomy to centrality233
5The development of mandalas239
India and China242
Geographic regions which sustained mandalas245
The lower Mekong and the delta: A.D. c 100-550245
The delta mandalas: summary254
Mandalas of the middle Mekong and the Tonle Sap plains: A.D. 550-802254
Zhenla mandalas: summary268
The Dvaravati mandalas of the Chao Phraya plains and their antecedants: A.D. 200-950269
The Mun and Chi valleys in Northeast Thailand279
The Han: three border commanderies287
Bac Bo287
The mandalas of Champa297
The dynastic history of Linyi298
The archaeological remains of Linyi: the Cham mandalas302
Champa: summary306
The formative stages of Southeast Asian civilisation: a review306
Summary318
6The Angkorian Mandala321
The dynastic history and main historic events324
Taxation344
The means of destruction346
Agriculture348
The pursuit of perfection352
Summary and conclusions353
7Concluding remarks356
References363
Index379

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