Globalization in Southeast Asia’s Early Age of Commerce

Evidence from the thirteenth century ce Java Sea Shipwreck

Authored by: Lisa C. Niziolek , Amanda Respess

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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Over the past several years, globalization has become one of the central concerns of anthropology, and, recently, scholars have debated its origin and social implications (e.g. Al-Rodhan and Stoudman 2006; Chase-Dunn 2000; Frank 1998; Hall et al. 2011). Some contend that it is a process associated with modern times, others that the first long-lived networks involving regular, trans-regional trade emerged between East Asia and the Mediterranean around 1000 ce, and yet others argue that there is evidence of globalization millennia ago (Frank and Gills 1992; O’Rourke and Williamson 2002; Stearns 2010; Wallerstein 2000; Feinman this volume; cf. Robertson this volume). It has become increasingly evident, based on a growing corpus of data, that long-distance economic and social interactions were very important in the ancient world in many different regions. For example, these significant extra-regional linkages are used by a number of scholars (e.g. Blanton and Fargher 2012; Hodos 2010) to investigate trends associated with globalization and how these trends are manifested in different societies at different times (e.g. Iron Age Sicily, prehispanic Mesoamerica, and the Huari of the Andean Wari civilization). According to Jennings (2011, this volume), two general features of globalization include an upsurge in long-distance connections and the emergence of a global culture. During the late first and early second millennium ce, Southeast and East Asia appear to have undergone these two major transformations.

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