Ancient Southeast Asia provides readers with a much needed synthesis of the latest discoveries and research in the archaeology of the region, presenting the evolution of complex societies in Southeast Asia from the protohistoric period, beginning around 500BC, to the arrival of British and Dutch colonists in 1600. Well-illustrated throughout, this comprehensive account explores the factors which established Southeast Asia as an area of unique cultural fusion. Miksic and Goh explore how the local population exploited the abundant resources available, developing maritime transport routes which resulted in economic and cultural wealth, including some of the most elaborate art styles and monumental complexes ever constructed.
The book’s broad geographical and temporal coverage, including a chapter on the natural environment, provides readers with the context needed to understand this staggeringly diverse region. It utilizes French, Dutch, Chinese, Malay-Indonesian and Burmese sources and synthesizes interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives and data from archaeology, history and art history. Offering key opportunities for comparative research with other centres of early socio-economic complexity, Ancient Southeast Asia establishes the area’s importance in world history.
Table of Contents
1 Introduction: History, Culture, and Art in Southeast Asia
2 Environments, Languages, Cultures, and People
3 Prehistory: 2 Million to 2 Thousand Years Ago.
4 Protoclassic Period: 1-600 CE
5 Early Classic, 600-900
6 Middle Classic, 900-1200
7 Late Classic, 1200-1400
8 Postclassic, 1400-1600
John N. Miksic is a Professor at the Southeast Asian Studies Department of the National University of Singapore.
Goh Geok Yian is an Associate Professor at the History Programme of the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
"John Miksic and Geok Yian Goh’s synthesis reflects a phenomenal effort and impressive scholarship; it is just such work that may inspire the next generation of archaeologists to research the past of Southeast Asia."
- Miriam T. Stark, Department of Anthropology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA
" (...) the authors have compiled a detailed gazetteer of Southeast Asian archaeological sites, ancient polities, artistic traditions, political economies, and religion. Invaluable to students of Southeast Asian history."
- E. R. Swenson, University of Toronto
"This book provides readers with the most comprehensive overview of Southeast Asia’s archaeological history since C.F.W. Higham’s (1989) seminal book, The Archaeology of Mainland Southeast Asia. Moreover, Ancient Southeast Asia is the first synthesis to encompass not only the mainland regions but also Island Southeast Asia from Sumatra and Borneo to the Philippines. A work of such breadth and scope demands rich scholarship, which has been guaranteed by the authors’ enormous knowledge of the different regional contexts and their acquaintance with the material and textual evidence and the latest discoveries. The result is a highly useful compilation, which will enable readers to understand the dynamics of social-cultural evolution in a vast and geographically fragmented region."
- Dominik Bonatz, Freie Universität Berlin
"John Miksic and Geok Yian Goh successfully accomplish three remarkable feats: delivering a highly accessible and sophisticated account of how Southeast Asia evolved as a world region from prehistoric times to AD 1600; providing a comprehensive research guide to the field of pre-modern Southeast Asian history and historical archaeology; and contributing important original insights to the theorisation of Southeast Asian and world history. One of the most inspiring achievements of this book is the authors’ enunciation of the notion of ‘interaction spheres’ and consistent deployment of it as an overarching analytical tool throughout the book.
Erudite and meticulously documented, this book is a foundational text for students and scholars interested in Southeast Asian history and archaeology, world history and Silk Road studies."
- Qiong Zhang,Wake Forest University, NC, AWE