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Ref ID: 37303
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Yang, Zishu
Jiang, Zhilong
Thonglith, Luangkhoth
Zhou, Ranchao
Cui, Jianfeng
Li, Haichao
Title: New evidence of metal exchange in Southeast Asia during the Iron Age: scientific analysis of excavated bronze in Vilabouly, Laos
Date: 2024
Source: Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences
Abstract: This study combines various methods to investigate bronze artifacts excavated at the Thengkham East site in Vilabouly, Laos, in 2018. These excavated copper objects are consistent with other previously published copper objects from Vilabouly in terms of style, alloying ratios, and forming techniques, demonstrating that similar metallurgical traditions were indeed employed within Vilabouly. For dagger-axes with very low tin content, based on cultural connections between Southeast Asia and Yunnan, China, this study proposes the hypothesis that the dagger-axes unearthed in Vilabouly are funerary implements. The study of lead isotope ratios indicates evidence for the exchange of a multi-layered artifact between the mining/ore processing site and general consumption site at Vilabouly. This may indicate that the trading network within Vilabouly is based on intermediate products. Introducing new lead isotope ratio data for copper objects from Thailand and Cambodia, the comparative studies reinforced the widespread view that during the early Iron Age in Ban Non Wat, central Laos succeeded Thailand in supplying copper to various regions of Southeast Asia.
Volume: 16
Number: 26