Archaeology, Museums & Heritage – Seminar Series | Ben Dharamendra
Join the Sydney Archaeology community for their Semester 2 2020 seminar series on museums, heritage, and archaeology.
Ben Dharamendra (USYD)
Research into Mainland Southeast Asia’s rich archaeological record has expanded significantly over the last few decades. However, our grasp of the region’s history of settlement development remains underdeveloped. This paper reports on the results of research into long-term patterns in settlement development across the Mainland from c. the 1st – 19th centuries CE. With a focus on settlement scale, density, and morphology, this work demonstrates that the initial development of large-scale (>100ha) settlements across the Mainland was strongly associated with extensive but low habitation density settlement configurations. This phase of settlement growth reached its apogee during the ‘Classic Period’ from c. 800-1400 CE. A new trajectory of development is evident during the second half of the second millennium CE, whereby larger areas of relatively dense occupation become common features of the major settlements of the Mainland. These findings challenge existing perspectives which have tended to consider Southeast Asian settlements as ‘reflective’ of social, economic, and environmental/geographic conditions. This study highlights the benefits of considering the ‘effects’ of different settlement forms to interpretations of regional history.
Friday 20 November 2020
Online on Zoom
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