Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://une.intersearch.com.au/unejspui/handle/1959.11/2072
Title: Land use, political complexity, and urbanism in mainland Southeast Asia
Contributor(s): Kealhofer, Lisa (author); Grave, Peter (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2008
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/2072
Abstract: Debates about the development of political complexity and cities are typically focused on material cultural correlates and situated within the wider context of the emergence of states. Conventionally, state emergence is linked to agricultural surpluses and a new phase of agricultural intensification. However, this approach remains fundamentally reliant on the preservation of an appropriate and diverse suite of material cultural correlates. For mainland Southeast Asia, archaeological correlates of early political complexity are comparatively impoverished and are dominated by evidence from disparate burial contexts and architecture. In this paper, we employ an alternative approach based on a case study from north central Thailand that uses paleoenvironmental evidence of land use. These data are then related to historical urban development in the region. We suggest that large-scale patterns of agricultural expansion relate directly to increases in political complexity. Our results demonstrate that the long-term development of large-scale agricultural landscapes in this region predates the earliest evidence of monumental cities in central Thailand. We conclude that significant progress in better understanding the emergence of complex societies, both in Southeast Asia and elsewhere, is unlikely to be possible without more systematic integration of archaeological and paleoenvironmental approaches.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: American Antiquity, 73(2), p. 200-225
Publisher: Society for American Archaeology
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 0002-7316
Field of Research (FOR): 210199 Archaeology not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Other Links: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25470476
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