Advertisement

International Journal of Historical Archaeology

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 175–203 | Cite as

The Transition to History in the Mekong Delta: A View from Cambodia

  • Miriam T. Stark
Article

Abstract

This article discusses methodological issues associated with the use of documentary and archaeological data to interpret the early historic period of southern Cambodia. Developments in the Lower Mekong region are used as a case study, and where the polity of “Funan” reputedly flourished from the second to the sixth centuries A.D. A variety of data sources available to us now—Chinese historical accounts, inscriptions, local oral traditions, and archaeological materials—suggests that this early historic polity was a unique mixture of ritual, economic, and political activity. Discussion concentrates on the site of Angkor Borei (Takeo Province, Cambodia), where the Lower Mekong Archaeological Project (LOMAP) has undertaken research since 1995.

early historic period early states Mekong Delta Cambodia 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES CITED

  1. Allen, J. (1997). Inland Angkor, coastal Kedah: Landscapes, subsistence systems, and state development in early Southeast Asia. Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association Bulletin 16: 79–87.Google Scholar
  2. Aung-Thwin, M. (1982–1983). Burma before Pagan: The status of archaeology today. Asian Perspectives 25: 1–22.Google Scholar
  3. Aymonier, E. (1900). Le Cambodge, Ernest Leroux, Paris.Google Scholar
  4. Baines, J. (1989). Literacy, social organization, and the archaeological record: The case of early Egypt. In Gledhill, J., Bender, B., and Larsen, M. T. (eds.), State and Society: The Emergence and Development of Social Hierarchy and Political Centralization, Unwin Hyman, London, pp. 192–214.Google Scholar
  5. Basa, K. K., Glover, I. C., and Henderson, J. (1991). The relationship between early Southeast Asian and Indian glass. Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association Bulletin 10: 366–385.Google Scholar
  6. Bayard, D. (1992). Models, scenarios, variables and suppositions: Approaches to the rise of social complexity in mainland Southeast Asia, 700 B.C.-500 A.D. In Glover, I. C., Suchitta, P., and Villiers, J. (eds.), Early Metallurgy, Trade and Urban Centres in Thailand and Southeast Asia, White Lotus, Bangkok, pp. 13–38.Google Scholar
  7. Briggs, L. P. (1951). The ancient Khmer Empire. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society: New Series 41(1): 1–295 (Philadelphia, PA).Google Scholar
  8. Brocheux, P. (1995). The Mekong Delta: Ecology, Economy, and Revolution, 1860–1960, University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Southeast Asian Studies Monograph Number 12, Madison.Google Scholar
  9. Bronson, B. (1977). Exchange at the upstream and downstream ends: Notes toward a functional model of the coastal state in Southeast Asia. In Hutterer, K. (ed.), Economic Exchange and Social Interaction in Southeast Asia: Perspectives from Prehistory, History, and Ethnography, Michigan Papers on South and Southeast Asia No. 13, Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, pp. 39–52.Google Scholar
  10. Bronson, B. (1978). Angkor, Anuradhapura, Prambanan and Tikal: Maya subsistence in an Asian perspective. In Harrison, P. D., and Turner, B. L. (eds.), Pre-Hispanic Maya Agriculture, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, pp. 255–300.Google Scholar
  11. Bronson, B. (1979). The late prehistory and early history of central Thailand with special reference to Chansen. In Smith, R. B., and Watson, W. (eds.), Early South East Asia, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 315–336.Google Scholar
  12. Bronson, B., and Dales, G. (1972). Excavations at Chansen, Thailand, 1968, 1969: A preliminary report. Asian Perspectives 15: 15–46.Google Scholar
  13. Bronson, B., and White, J. C. (1992). Radiocarbon and chronology in Southeast Asia. In Ehrich, R. W. (ed.), Chronologies in Old World Archaeology, Vol. 1, 3rd ed., University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 491–503.Google Scholar
  14. Brown, R. L. (1996). The Dvaravati Wheels of the Law and the Indianization of South East Asia, E. J. Brill, Leiden.Google Scholar
  15. Christie, J. W. (1993). Trade and value in Pre-Majapahit Java. Indonesian Circle 59–60: 3–17.Google Scholar
  16. Christie, J. W. (1995). State formation and early maritime Southeast Asia: A consideration of the theories and the data. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land, en Volkenkunde 151: 235–288.Google Scholar
  17. Coedès, G. (1931). Deux Inscriptions Sanskrites de Founan. Bulletin de l'École Française d'Extrême Orient 31:1–23.Google Scholar
  18. Coedès, G. (1941). L'assistance médicale au Cambodge à la fin du XIIme siècle. Révue Médicale Française d'Extrême-Orient 19: 405–415.Google Scholar
  19. Coedès, G. (1968). The Indianized States of Southeast Asia, Vella, W. F. (ed.)., Cowing, S. B. (trans), University of Hawai'i Press, Honolulu.Google Scholar
  20. de Casparis, J. G. (1979). Paleography as an auxiliary discipline in research on early South East Asia. In Smith, R. B., and Watson, W. (eds.), Early South East Asia, Oxford University Press, New York., pp. 380–394.Google Scholar
  21. Finot, L. (1911). Sur quelques traditions Indochinoises. In Mélanges d'Indianisme offerts par ses élèves a M. Sylvain Lévi, L'École Française d'Extrême Orient, Paris.Google Scholar
  22. Galloway, P. (1991). The archaeology of ethnohistorical narrative. In Thomas, D. H. (ed.), Columbian Consequences, Vol. 3. The Spanish Borderlands in Pan-American Perspective, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, pp. 453–470.Google Scholar
  23. Gaudes, R. (1993). Kaundinya, Preah Thaong, and the “Nagi Soma”: Some aspects of a Cambodian legend. Asian Folklore Studies 52: 333–358.Google Scholar
  24. Glover, I. C. (1989). Early Trade between Indian and Southeast Asia, 2nd ed., Center for South-East Asian Studies, Hull.Google Scholar
  25. Glover, I. C. (1996). Recent archaeological evidence for early maritime contacts between India and Southeast Asia. In Ray, H. P., and Salles, J.-F. (eds.), Tradition and Archaeology: Early Maritime Contacts in the Indian Ocean, Manohar, New Delhi, pp. 129–150.Google Scholar
  26. Griffin, P. B., Ledgerwood, J., and Stark, M. T. (1996). Research, education, and cultural resource management at Angkor Borei, Cambodia. CRM 19: 37–41.Google Scholar
  27. Groslier, B. (1935). Ankor Borei. Bulletin de l'École Française d'Extrême-Orient 35: 491.Google Scholar
  28. Guy, J. (1982). Palm-Leaf and Paper: Illustrated Manuscripts of India and Southeast Asia, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.Google Scholar
  29. Ha Van Tan (1986). Oc Eo: Endogenous and exogenous elements. Vietnam Social Sciences 1–2(7–8): 91–101.Google Scholar
  30. Hall, K. (1982). The “Indianization” of Funan: An economic history of Southeast Asia's first state. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 13: 81–106.Google Scholar
  31. Hall, K. (1985). Maritime Trade and State Development in Early Southeast Asia, University of Hawai'i Press, Honolulu.Google Scholar
  32. Higham, C. (1989a). The Archaeology of Mainland Southeast Asia, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  33. Higham, C. (1989b). The later prehistory of Mainland Southeast Asia. Journal of World Prehistory 3: 235–282.Google Scholar
  34. Higham, C. (1996). The Bronze Age of Southeast Asia, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  35. Higham, C., and Kijngam, A. (1982). Irregular earthworks in northeast Thailand: New insight. Antiquity 56: 102–110.Google Scholar
  36. Houston, S. D. (1989). Archaeology and Maya writing. Journal of World Prehistory 3: 1–32.Google Scholar
  37. Hutterer, K. (1982). Early Southeast Asia: Old wine in new skins? A review article. Journal of Asian Studies 41: 559–570.Google Scholar
  38. Ishizawa, Y. (1996). Chinese Chronicles of 1st–5th Century A.D. Funan, Southern Cambodia. In Scott, R., and Guy, J. (eds.), South East Asia and China: Art Interaction and Commerce, Colloquies on Art and Archaeology in Asia No. 17, University of London Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art, London, pp. 11–31.Google Scholar
  39. I-Tsing (1966). A Record of the Buddhist Religion as Practised in India and the Malay Archipelago (A.D. 671–695), Takakusu, J. (trans.), Munshiram Manoharlal, Delhi.Google Scholar
  40. Jacob, J. (1978). The ecology of Angkor: Evidence from the Khmer inscriptions. In Stott, P. A. (ed.), Nature and Man in South East Asia, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, pp. 109–127.Google Scholar
  41. Jacob, J. (1979). Pre-Angkor Cambodia: Evidence from the inscriptions concerning the common people and their environment. In Smith, R. B., and Watson, W. (eds.), Early South East Asia, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 406–424.Google Scholar
  42. Jacques, C. (1979). 'Funan,” Zhenla': The reality concealed by these Chinese views of Indochina. In Smith, R. B., and Watson, W. (eds.), Early South East Asia, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 371–379.Google Scholar
  43. Jacques, C. (1986). Sources on economic activities in Khmer and Cham lands. In Marr, D. G., and Milner, A. C. (eds.), Southeast Asia in the 9th to 14th Centuries, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore and the Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, Canberra, pp. 327–334.Google Scholar
  44. Jenner, P. N. (1980a). A Chrestomathy of Pre-Angkorian Khmer: Dated Inscriptions from the Seventh and Eighth Centuries (A.D. 611–781), Southeast Asia Paper No. 20, Part 1, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Hawai'i, Honolulu.Google Scholar
  45. Jenner, P. N. (1980b). A Chronological Inventory of the Inscriptions of Cambodia. Southeast Asia Paper No. 19, Southeast Asian Studies, Asian Studies Program, University of Hawai'i, Honolulu.Google Scholar
  46. Jenner, P. N. (1981). A Chrestomathy of Pre-Angkorian Khmer: Lexicon of the Dated Inscriptions, Southeast Asia Paper No. 20, Southeast Asian Studies, Asian Studies Program, University of Hawai'i, Honolulu.Google Scholar
  47. Junker, L. (1993). Craft goods specialization and prestige goods exchange in Philippine chiefdoms of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Asian Perspectives 32: 1–36.Google Scholar
  48. Junker, L., Mudar, K., and Schwaller, M. (1994). Social stratification, household wealth and competitive feasting in 15th–16th century Philippine chiefdoms. Research in Economic Anthropology 15: 307–358.Google Scholar
  49. Kathirithamby-Wells, J. (1995). Socio-political structures and the Southeast Asian ecosystem. In Bruun, O., and Kalland, A. (eds.), Asian Perceptions of Nature: A Critical Approach, Curzon Press, Surrey, England, pp. 25–46.Google Scholar
  50. Kennedy, J. (1977). From stage to development in prehistoric Thailand: An exploration of the origins of growth, exchange, and variability in Southeast Asia. In Hutterer, K. (ed.), Economic Exchange and Social Interaction in Southeast Asia: Perspectives from Prehistory, History, and Ethnography, Michigan Papers on South and Southeast Asia No. 13, Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, pp. 23–38.Google Scholar
  51. Kulke, H. (1986). The early and imperial kingdom in Southeast Asian History. In Marr, D. G., and Milner, A. C. (eds.), Southeast Asia in the 9th to 14th Centuries, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, pp. 1–23.Google Scholar
  52. Kulke, H. (1990). Indian colonies, Indianization or cultural convergence? Reflections on the changing image of India's role in South-East Asia. In Nordholt, H. (ed.), Onderzoek in Zuidoost-Azië, Valgroep Talen en Culturen van Zuidoost-Asie en Oceanie, Rijksuniversiteit te Leiden, Netherlands, pp. 8–32.Google Scholar
  53. Larsen, M. T. (1989). Introduction: Literacy and social complexity. In Gledhill, J., Bender, B., and Larsen, M. T. (eds.), State and Society: The Emergence and Development of Social Hierarchy and Political Centralization, Unwin Hyman, London, pp. 173–191.Google Scholar
  54. Lê Xuân Diêm, Dào Linh Côn, and Vo Si Khai (1995). Van Hóa Oc Eo, Nhà Xuât Ban Khoa Hoc Xā Hôi (Social Sciences Publishing House), Hanoi.Google Scholar
  55. Ledgerwood, J. (1996). Myth/history and the study of Angkor Borei. Paper delivered at the Khmer Studies Conference, Monash University, Australia.Google Scholar
  56. Leone, M. P., and Potter, P. B., Jr. (1988). Introduction: Issues in historical archaeology. In Leone, M. P., and Potter, P. B. (eds.), The Recovery of Meaning: Historical Archaeology in the Eastern United States, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, pp. 1–22.Google Scholar
  57. Li, H.-L. (1979). Introduction. In Han, C. (ed.), Nan-Fang Ts'ao-mu Chuang: A Fourth Century Flora of Southeast Asia, Chinese University Press, Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  58. Lightfoot, K. G. (1995). Culture contact studies: Redefining the relationship between prehistoric and historical archaeology. American Antiquity 60: 199–217.Google Scholar
  59. Lind, A. (1981). Applications of aircraft and satellite data for the study of archaeology and environment in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam. Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment, Ann Arbor, MI.Google Scholar
  60. Ma, T.-L. (1883). Ethnographie des peuples étrangers a la Chine, De Saint-Denys, D. (trans.), Ernest Leroux, Paris.Google Scholar
  61. Mabbett, I. (1977a). The Indianization of Southeast Asia: Reflections on the historic sources. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 8: 143–161.Google Scholar
  62. Mabbett, I. (1977b). The Indianization of Southeast Asia: Reflections on the prehistoric sources. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 8: 1–14.Google Scholar
  63. Mabbett, I. (1983). Some remarks on the present state of knowledge about slavery in Angkor. In Reid, A. (ed.), Slavery, Bondage and Dependency in Southeast Asia, St. Martin's Press, New York, pp. 44–63.Google Scholar
  64. MacDonald, W. K. (1980). Some Implications of Societal Complexity: Organizational Variability at Non Nok Tha, Thailand (2000–0 B.C.), Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.Google Scholar
  65. Maleipan, V. (1979). The excavation at Sab Champa. In Smith, R. B., and Watson, W. (eds.), Early South East Asia, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 337–341.Google Scholar
  66. Malleret, L. (1961). The position of historical studies in the countries for former French Indo-China in 1956. In Hall, D. G. E. (ed.), Historians of South East Asia, Oxford University Press, London, pp. 301–312.Google Scholar
  67. Malleret, L. (1959–1963). L'Archéologie du Delta du Mékong, Publication de l'École Française d'Extrême-Orient, Paris.Google Scholar
  68. Manguin, P.-Y. (1996). Southeast Asian shipping in the Indian Ocean during the first millennium A.D. In Ray, H. P., and Salles, J.-F. (eds.), Tradition and Archaeology: Early Maritime Contacts in the Indian Ocean, Manohar, New Delhi, pp. 181–196.Google Scholar
  69. Miksic, J. N. (1995). Evolving archaeological perspectives on Southeast Asia, 1970–95. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 26: 46–62.Google Scholar
  70. Moore, E. H. (1989). Water management in Cambodia: Evidence from aerial photography. Geographical Journal 155: 204–214.Google Scholar
  71. Moore, E. H. (1990). Moated settlement in the Mun Basin, northeast Thailand. In Glover, I. C., and Glover, E. (eds.), Southeast Asian Archaeology 1986: Proceedings of the First Conference of the Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists in Western Europe, BAR International Series 561, Oxford, pp. 201–212.Google Scholar
  72. Moore, E. H. (1992). Water enclosed sites: Links between Ban Takhong, northeast Thailand and Cambodia. In Rigg, J. (ed.), The Gift of Water: Water Management. Cosmology and the State in Southeast Asia. School of Oriental and African Studies, London, pp. 26–46.Google Scholar
  73. O'Connor, S. J. (1986). Introduction. In The Archaeology of Peninsular Siam, Siam Society, Bangkok, pp. 1–10.Google Scholar
  74. Paris, P. (1931). Anciene canaux reconnus sur photographies aetiennes dans les provinces do Ta-Kev et de Chauc-Doc. Bulletin de l'École Française d'Extrême Orient 31: 221–224.Google Scholar
  75. Paris, P. (1941). Notes et melanges: Ancienes canaux reconnus sur photographies aetiennes et les provinces de Ta-Keo, Chau-Doc, Long Xuyen et Rach-Gia. Bulletin de l'École Française d'Extrême Orient 41: 365–370.Google Scholar
  76. Parmentier, H. (1933). L'art présumé du Fou-nan. Bulletin de l'École Française d'Extrême-Orient 32: 183–189.Google Scholar
  77. Pelliot, P. (1903). Le Fou-nan. Bulletin de l'École Française d'Extrême Orient 3: 248–303.Google Scholar
  78. Ray, H. P. (1989). Early maritime contacts between South and Southeast Asia. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 10: 42–54.Google Scholar
  79. Ray, H. P. (1994). The Winds of Change: Buddhism and the Maritime Links of Early South Asia, Oxford University Press, Delhi.Google Scholar
  80. Reynolds, C. J. (1995). A new look at old Southeast Asia. Journal of Asian Studies 54: 419–446.Google Scholar
  81. Ricklefs, M. C. (1967). Land and law in the epigraphy of tenth century Cambodia. Journal of Asian Studies 26: 411–420.Google Scholar
  82. Sharan, M. K. (1974). Studies in Sanskrit Inscriptions in Ancient Cambodia, Abhinav, New Delhi.Google Scholar
  83. Stargardt, J. (1986). Hydraulic works and Southeast Asian polities. In Marr, D. G., and Milner, A. C. (eds.), Southeast Asia in the 9th to 14th Centuries, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, Canberra, and Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, pp. 24–48.Google Scholar
  84. Stargardt, J. (1990). The Ancient Pyu of Burma, Vol. I. Early Pyu Cities in a Man-Made Landscape, PACSEA Cambridge, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore.Google Scholar
  85. Stark, M., Griffin, P. B., Dega, M., Chuch, P., Bong, S., and Ledgerwood, J. (1998). Results of the 1995–1996 field investigations at Angkor Borei, Cambodia. Manuscript on file, Department of Anthropology, University of Hawai'i.Google Scholar
  86. Taylor, K. (1992). The early kingdoms. In Tarling, N. (ed.), The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia, Vol. One, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 137–182.Google Scholar
  87. Vallibhotama, S. (1986). Political and cultural continuities at Dvaravati sites. In Marr, D. G., and Milner, A. C. (eds.), Southeast Asia in the 9th to 14th Centuries, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, and Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, pp. 229–238.Google Scholar
  88. Vallibhotama, S. (1992). Early urban centres in the Chao Phraya Valley of Central Thailand. In Glover, I. C., Suchitta, P., and Villiers, J. (eds.), Early Metallurgy. Trade and Urban Centres in Thailand and Southeast Asia, White Lotus, Bangkok, pp. 123–129.Google Scholar
  89. van Liere, W. J. (1980). Traditional water management in the lower Mekong Basin. World Archaeology 11: 265–280.Google Scholar
  90. Vickery, M. (1979) The composition and transmission of the Ayudhya and Cambodian chronicles. In Reid, A., and Marr, D. (eds.), Perceptions of the Past in Southeast Asia, Heinemann Educational Books (Asia), Kuala Lumpur, pp. 130–154.Google Scholar
  91. Vickery, M. (1986). Some remarks on early state formation in Cambodia. In Marr, D. G., and Milner, A. C. (eds.), Southeast Asia in the 9th to 14th Centuries, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, pp. 95–115.Google Scholar
  92. Vickery, M. (1994). Where and what was Chenla? In Bizot, F. (ed.), Récherches Nouvelles sur le Cambodge. L'École Française d'Extrême-Orient, Paris, pp. 197–212.Google Scholar
  93. Vickery, M. (1996). Review article: What to do about The Khmers. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 27: 389–404.Google Scholar
  94. Welch, D. J. (1989). Late prehistoric and early historic exchange patterns in the Phimai Region, Thailand. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 10: 11–26.Google Scholar
  95. Welch, D. J. (1997). Archaeological evidence of Khmer state political and economic organization. Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association Bulletin 16(3): 69–78.Google Scholar
  96. Welch, D. J., and McNeill, J. R. (1988–1989). Excavations at Ban Tamyae and Non Bam Kham, Phimai Region, northeast Thailand. Asian Perspectives 28: 99–124.Google Scholar
  97. Wheatley, P. (1983). Nagara and Commandery: Origins of the Southeast Asian Urban Traditions, Research Papers Nos. 207–208, Department of Geography, University of Chicago, Chicago.Google Scholar
  98. White, J. C. (1995). Incorporating heterarchy into theory on socio-political development: The case from Southeast Asia. In Ehrenreich, R. B., Crumley, C. L., and Levy, J. E. (eds.), Heterarchy and the Analysis of Complex Societies, Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association No. 6, American Anthropological Association, Washington, DC, pp. 101–124.Google Scholar
  99. White, J. C., and Pigott, V. C. (1996). From community craft to regional specialization: Intensification of copper production in pre-state Thailand. In Wailes, B. (ed.), Craft Specialization and Social Evolution: In Memory of V. Gordon Childe, University Museum Symposium Series, Vol. VI, University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, pp. 151–175.Google Scholar
  100. Wolters, O. W. (1982). History, Culture, and Region in Southeast Asian Perspectives, Institute for Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore.Google Scholar
  101. Wood, W. R. (1989). Ethnohistory and historical method. In Schiffer, M. B. (ed.), Archaeological Method and Theory, Vol. 2, University of Arizona Press, Tucson, pp. 81–109.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miriam T. Stark
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of Hawai'iHonolulu

Personalised recommendations