Early Cultures of Mainland Southeast Asia

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Art Media Resources, 2002 - Art - 375 pages
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The archaeology of the early cultures of mainland Southeast Asia has been transformed in the ten years since Charles Higham published the first major summary of the period from 10000 BC to the fall of the Kingdom of Angkor. He has now written an entirely new book, which takes into account a host of new discoveries. The dynamic coastal hunter-gatherers at Khok Phanom Di provide a startling image quite at variance with our earlier understanding of this period. The origins of rice cultivation in the Yangzi Valley, linked with the distribution of the languages, provides a whole new view of the spread of farming communities. At last, the origins and dating of the Bronze Age are resolved, and the social life from mines to settlements, and on to the rituals of death, can be followed. New excavations at large Iron Age sites in Cambodia and Thailand now allow us to appreciate the vigour and dynamism of societies on the brink of the transition to the state. A fresh appraisal of the available inscriptions has opened new vistas on the origins and development of the great kingdom of Angkor. Professor Higham has integrated all these new findings into a fascinating account of Southeast Asia's past, bringing a freshness and vigour to the period which can only provide for a fuller understanding of how this vital region has developed over the millennia into its present form.

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Contents

Chapter One 6 The Basalt Plateau of Eastern Cambodia
27
Summary
108
Chapter Five 168 The Structure of the Past in Southeast Asia
169
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