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Historical Archaeology

, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 471–486 | Cite as

Historical Archaeology in Southeast Asia

  • John N. Miksic
Original Article

Abstract

Historical archaeology in Southeast Asia can be divided into two periods: the classic era of the Hindu and Buddhist civilizations, which began approximately 2,000 years ago, and the postclassic era, which began around A.D. 1400 with the expansion of Islam and Theravada Buddhism, followed by the arrival of European colonists in the 16th century. The use of “historical archaeology” to refer to this 2,000-year-long period differs from the sense of the term used in Europe, South Africa, Australia, and North America, where historical archaeology is normally applied to the last 500 years. This essay describes the attitudes toward the transition from antiquity to the present from the perspective of archaeology in various parts of Southeast Asia. The main focus is on the perspective of local archaeologists, rather than those from outside the region.

Keywords

urbanization Islamization Chinese trade ceramics forts warfare art history Buddhism 

Extracto

La arqueología histórica en el Sudeste Asiático puede dividirse en dos períodos: la era clásica de las civilizaciones hindú y budista, que comenzaron hace 2000 años aproximadamente, y la era Posclásica, que comenzó en torno a 1400 con la expansión del Islam y del Budismo Theravada, seguido por la llegada de colonizadores europeos en el siglo XVI. El uso de la "arqueología histórica" para referirse a este período de 2000 años de duración difiere del sentido del término utilizado en Europa, Sudáfrica, Australia y Norteamérica, donde la "arqueología histórica" se aplica normalmente a los últimos 500 años. El presente ensayo describe las actitudes hacia la transición desde la antigüedad hasta el presente desde la perspectiva de la arqueología en diversas partes del Sudeste Asiático. El principal foco de atención se encuentra en la perspectiva de los arqueólogos locales, en lugar de en aquellos fuera de la región.

Résumé

L’archéologie historique en Asie du Sud-Est peut être divisée en deux périodes: la période classique des civilisations hindoues et bouddhistes, qui a débuté il y a 2 000 ans environ, et l’ère postclassique, qui débuta vers 1 400 avec l’expansion de l’Islam et du bouddhisme theravada, suivie de l’arrivée des colons européens au XVIe siècle. L’usage de l’expression « archéologie historique » pour désigner cette période de 2 000 ans s’écarte du sens de l’expression utilisée en Europe, en Afrique du Sud, en Australie et en Amérique du Nord, où « archéologie historique » est normalement utilisée pour les derniers 500 ans. Cet essai décrit les positions à l’égard de la transition de l’Antiquité à nos jours du point de vue de l’archéologie dans différentes parties de l’Asie du Sud-Est. Il est principalement axé sur l’approche des archéologues locaux, plutôt que ceux de l’extérieur de la région.

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Society for Historical Archaeology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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