Globalizing early Southeast Asia

Authored by: Miriam T. Stark

The Routledge Handbook of Archaeology and Globalization

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415841306
eBook ISBN: 9781315449005
Adobe ISBN:


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Southeast Asia is a place of complex social and material connectivities and millennia-deep traditions of circulation: people, ideas, trade goods, and food. Despite the region’s rich alluvial valleys and upland regions, it is profoundly maritime: the Indian Ocean bounds its western margin and the Pacific Ocean its eastern limits. Pulses of past globalization or macroscale flows of information (Feinman this volume) have characterized the region since the Middle Pleistocene, when Homo erectus populations began the process. Since that time, each migrating human group brought new ideas and technologies, and new ways of organizing society. Sea nomads, sailors, merchants, and pirates have traversed Southeast Asia’s many seas for at least 3,500 years, generating discrete and overlapping international networks and establishing diasporic communities along the region’s coasts. And by the late centuries bce, Southeast Asians circulated in maritime networks that linked different language groups across seascapes, and from river mouths to their upland springs.

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