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History Without BordersThe Making of an Asian World Region (1000–1800)$
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Geoffrey C. Gunn

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9789888083343

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888083343.001.0001

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Southeast Asia Between India and China

Southeast Asia Between India and China

(p.21) 1 Southeast Asia Between India and China
History Without Borders

Geoffrey C. Gunn

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter offers a civilizational framing of the region, stressing prehistoric indigeneity, as well as broad macro-regional commonality, going back to a shared Iron Age. It also calls attention to early arriving Indian, Muslim, and Sinic influences. The fast-moving field of archaeological research, especially on mainland Southeast Asia, has thrown new light upon the complex evolution of early states out of Neolithic hunter and gatherer societies (Higham 1989: 2002a). As this chapter argues, the elusive unity of East-Southeast Asia may be attested by the Bronze and Iron Age societies that emerged in a prehistoric period, wedding the macro region with China, via river valleys and high passes through which filtered an array of ideas, material goods, and technologies, just as Han China (206 BCE–220 CE) imposed its control over northern Vietnam.

Keywords:   Iron Age, archaeological research, Southeast Asia, prehistoric period, northern Vietnam

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