The second SEAMO-SPAFA International Conference on Southeast Asian Archaeology

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A glimpse of the socio-economic situation in the Thai-Malay Peninsula from the pottery data (500 BC – AD 500)

Aude FAVEREAU, Former Fyssen 2015-2016

Présentation effectuée dans le cadre du panel 19
(présentation n°2, voir ici: http://www.seameo-spafa.org/conference2016/ports.html)

Keywords: Thai-Malay Peninsula, ceramic technology, Metal Age, socio-political trajectories

By the end of the 1st millennium BC, the Thai-Malay Peninsula witnesses deep socio-cultural and political transformations characterized by the emergence of early forms of political centralization and urbanism at Khao Sam Kaeo in the Chumphon region. To explore these evolutions on the macro-regional scale, the Thai-French archaeological mission recently investigated various coastal and inland sites in the Peninsula. Technological analysis of pottery on each site allowed to distinguish several groups characterized by techniques and styles. Comparative study of all groups in the Peninsula shows local ones are ubiquitous, while groups using exogenous technologies or styles have a scattered and complex distribution. On some sites, such as Khao Sek, local groups are very similar to Khao Sam Kaeo but evidence for exogenous pottery productions are rare. On other sites, such as Ban Na Hyan, specific productions made using imported technologies are proportionally numerous. The latter is especially interesting in that it is located on a potential transpeninsular route linking communities from the South China Sea and from the Indian Ocean. The analysis of pottery production and organisation on the local and macro-regional scales, as well as the identification of groups using the pots shed light on the complex socio-political situation the Thai-Malay Peninsula was facing at that time.