Environmental Archaeological Approaches in Southeast Asia

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

The aim of this session is to report on recent environmental archaeological approaches tounderstanding human behavioral adaptations in Southeast Asia (mainland and island). We aim tosurvey the various ways that environmental conditions affected hunter-gatherer and agriculturalsocieties throughout the late-Pleistocene and Holocene. Paper topics of this session may includeresearch of subsistence regimes, technological change and/or development, forager efficiency,paleoecology, transition into agriculture, or any relevant research involving these themes. Wewelcome novel research, papers involving meta-analysis, or historical reviews.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-13 of 13)

  • Documents (13)

  • An analysis of Reptile bone from an excavation at Moh-Khiew cave, Krabi province,Thailand (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Supalak Mithong.

    A study of animal in species are very few especially reptiles bone when compared to mammal bone in Thailand. And considering the amount of reptile bones found in archaeological sites in southern Thailand were plenty. About half of all animal bones in a site such as the amount of Reptiles bone an excavation at Lang Rongrian rockshelter, Thailand by Douglas Anderson (Mudar and Anderson, 2007) and from Moh-Khiew cave, Krabi province, Thailand analysis by Dr. Prasit Auetrakulvit (Auetrakulvit, 2004)...

  • Archaeometallurgy, Environment & Landscape in Upland Laos: its impact on 'world-views' during the transition from the Bronze Age to early states in SE Asia. (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Nigel Chang.

    Recent excavations have shown that mining for copper ore in upland Savannakhet Province, south-central Laos, began at least 2500 years ago. We suspect that it may have begun even earlier. This paper considers who might have been living in this area prior to the introduction of mining and smelting technology and how the relationship between these prior occupants and their environment might have changed with this new technology. The scale and nature of the impact would have differed, depending on...

  • ​Environmental Archaeology of Spinning, Weaving and Dyeing in Ancient Thailand. (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Puangtip Kerdsap.

    This paper will address the question of "What impact would cultivation, and possible domestication, of native and introduced fiber plants have on the local environment and people’s lives in prehistoric Thailand?" This study begins by considering artifacts such as spindle whorls but will also discuss what fiber plants we have evidence of? How many are native? Where do the introduced species come from and when do they first appear in Thailand? Moreover, as well as growing the fiber plants, it is...

  • Farming as a dominant subsistence strategy? : Organic geochemical analyses on potsherds from prehistoric Korean peninsula (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Seungki Kwak.

    This study attempts to understand prehistoric human subsistence in Korean peninsula using organic geochemical analyses on potsherds. Organic geochemical analyses strive to be precise about the types of food groups that were processed within a pot by attempting to isolate and identify the specific organic compounds trapped in the fabric of its wall or adhering to its surface in residues. Traditionally, the transition from foragers to farmers in the central part of the Korean peninsula has been...

  • Forager Efficiency, Demographic Shift and Environmental Change: Re-evaluating the Broad Spectrum Revolution in Mainland Southeast Asia (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Cyler Conrad.

    On the Thai-Malay Peninsula the Pleistocene to Holocene transition was accompanied by significant post-glacial sea level rise, new environmental conditions, and increased human population densities. How did foragers adapt to these changes? In this region, the BSR has been the primary framework for understanding forager response to these conditions since Gorman’s analysis of the fauna from Spirit Cave (1971). Gorman suggested, following Flannery’s in the Near East, that at the...

  • Human dietary responses to the ecological instability of prehistoric Khao Wong Prachan Valley, Thailand: corroboration between paleobotany and skeletal chemistry (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Chin-hsin Liu. John Krigbaum.

    In Mainland Southeast Asia, rice agriculture and consumption has been a factor frequently tested for changes in population, biological and socio-cultural dynamics in prehistory. For Khao Wong Prachan Valley (KWPV) in central Thailand, Weber et al. (2010) indicated that rice did not enter the stratigraphy until the 1st millennium B.C., while millet seeds were encountered as early as the 3rd millennium B.C. and persisted throughout. Factors such as climate fluctuation, population expansion, and...

  • Human Ecology and Lithic Technology in Late Pleistocene SE Asia: A Whole Assemblage Perspective (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Daniel Michael. Julien Riel-Salvatore.

    Whole assemblage analyses have revealed that Late Pleistocene foragers in Western Eurasia show land use strategies that fall on an expedient-curated continuum of lithic organization linked to shifts between residential and logistical mobility. Here, we apply this model to reconstruct mobility strategies in tropical SE Asia to see whether it works in non-temperate settings. Data from over 42 lithic assemblages from across SE Asia indicate that they appear to reflect a distinct environmental...

  • Khao Toh Chong Rockshelter, Krabi: A reflection on human behavioral adaptations driven by environmental change during prehistory (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Hannah Van Vlack.

    Human behavioral adaptation to environmental change (i.e., sea level rise, monsoonal events) in Southern Thailand is an area of archaeology that has not yielded much study due to the preservation issues or sampling techniques. In a case study approach, geoscience and archaeological methods were utilized to trace environmental and cultural shifts at a rockshelter site occupied throughout the late-Pleistocene and Holocene. Results from this case study begin to answer questions about the foraging...

  • The Late Pleistocene Environment and Lithic Technology in South China (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Youping Wang.

    There are more Paleolithic remains have been found in South China during the last two decades. Those provide much more new information on Pleistocene human adapatations in this region, especially some Late Pleistocene sites unearthed recently, from the Valley of Changjiang River to Lingnan region. New studies on those excavations indicate that pebble tool industries had been dominated this huge region before the MIS3. However, small flake tool assemblages emerged suddently during the MIS2 time...

  • The Negotiated Wild: Khmer-Kuy Relations and the Politics of Habitat in Lowland Cambodia before 1970. (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jacob Gold.

    1970, the year of the Lon Nol coup, marks the beginning of the contemporary era in Cambodian habitat politics. This rupture fundamentally upset the "balance of power" between two edgily symbiotic systems of human-habitat regime. While the Khmer propagated "srok," with its high-yield agriculture and large sedentary populations, the Kuy and other ethnic groups exploited "prey", the forest, furnishing the Khmer empire, along with a regional Chinese mercantile network, with a wide range of valuable...

  • Regional settlement responses of the Khmer Empire to environmental stress and Angkor abandonment (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Tegan Hall. Dan Penny.

    The Khmer Empire dominated Southeast Asia between the ninth and fifteenth century, but had all but collapsed by the time Portuguese explorers began documenting their discoveries of the jungle-strewn temple ruins over a century later. Historical sources, in conjunction with new palaeoclimatic evidence, suggests that the royal court abandoned the central and administrative city of Angkor sometime in the mid-fifteenth century and migrated south to the Phnom Penh region after (among other things) a...

  • The Social and Ecological Characteristics of Prehistoric Cambodian Earthworks (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Michael Dega. Kyle Latinis.

    This paper moves discussion of prehistoric earthworks in Cambodia from normative archaeology into an ecological landscape structure, based on archaeological datasets. Discussions provide a synthesis of archaeological and newly borne out ecological explanations for original site construction, occupation, landscape use, sustainability of occupation for the earthwork culture over a c. 2000 year period, and terminal use of the sites. The paper moves discussion of the earthworks in the direction of...

  • Stone artefacts from Southeast Sulawesi: Technology beyond the Toalean (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Deanna De Boer. Zara Steinhart. Ben Marwick. David Bulbeck. Sue O'Connor.

    We report on the stone artefact assemblages and geoarchaeological contexts from two recently excavated rockshelters in southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. Human occupation starts at 19,000 BP. We find low density occupation during the Pleistocene, followed by a major increase in discard and change in local environmental conditions in the early Holocene. Striking changes in artefact discard rates occur during the middle Holocene, and distinctive retouched forms appear. We discuss the implications for...