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Ref ID: 37034
Ref Type: Book Section
Authors: Higham, Charles F. W.
Title: Social change in Southeast Asia during the Iron Age
Date: 2022
Source: The Oxford Handbook of Early Southeast Asia
Place of Publication: New York
Publisher: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199355358.013.26
Abstract: The millennium of the Iron Age in mainland Southeast Asia witnessed marked regional changes in society. The impact of Chinese imperial expansion truncated an indigenous development of a state society in the Red River delta region of northern Vietnam. Beyond the Ma River, the Sa Huynh communities grew increasingly complex on the basis of intensive rice cultivation and a burgeoning maritime trade network. Seaborne trade also had a powerful impact on the growth of urban centers on the Mekong Delta and in peninsular Thailand, where manufacturing centers sprang up to satisfy the local demand for new and exotic ornaments. Location is also a key to understanding how social elites took charge of the new opportunities presented by the introduction of prestige valuables and knowledge of iron technology from Indian sources. In the interior, there was a proliferation of sites, and emerging evidence for an agricultural revolution based on irrigation and plowing in fixed rice fields. There was also increased friction and conflict. These changes in combination were powerful contributors to the rise of the early state societies of Southeast Asia.
Editors: Higham, C. F. W.
Kim, Nam C.
Page Start: 501
Page End: 515