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Ref ID: 27654
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Demandt, Michèle H. S.
Title: Early gold ornaments of Southeast Asia: production, trade, and consumption
Date: 2016
Source: Asian Perspectives (2015)
Abstract: In the last decade a variety of gold ornaments have come to light through excavations and the illegal looting of Iron Age and early historical sites in Southeast Asia. Although these gold objects are personal ornaments testifying to an innovative local craft tradition that was partly inspired by foreign technologies and styles, their role in the interregional and long-distance exchange network of the early Southeast Asian communities has been rarely considered. This study of early gold ornaments brings together important gold discoveries on sites in Viet Nam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and southern China, and discusses similarities in production, consumption, and exchange. It further attempts to offer some new insights into sociopolitical and economic changes on a regional scale, and hopes to contribute to a longue-durée examination of trading connections across Asia. It is proposed that the first arrival of gold ornaments was closely related to the blossoming of trade activities on the terrestrial and maritime silk routes, and the political, religious, and artistic ideas that reached Southeast Asia from far-away regions such as the Greco-Buddhist and Hindu-Buddhist regions. Furthermore it is argued that gold ornaments were prestige goods and an essential part of dressing strategies through which changing elite identities were expressed.
Date Created: 5/3/2016
Volume: 54
Number: 2
Page Start: 305
Page End: 330