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Archaeometallurgy, Environment & Landscape in Upland Laos: its impact on 'world-views' during the transition from the Bronze Age to early states in SE Asia.

Author(s): Nigel Chang

Year: 2015

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Summary

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 whether already present populations borrowed and adapted the technology from other, larger and more structured, societies - or if the the technology was brought into the area in a conscious exploration and colonisation process by those same larger societies. Finally, this paper considers if the introduction of metallurgy was a key factor in reorienting views of the landscape in the past; drawing the uplands into the consciousness of lowland floodplain-based agricultural societies?

The archaeological work that this discussion is based on has been carried out over several years under an MOU between MMG-LXML (transnational mining company), the Department of National Heritage of Laos and James Cook University, Australia.

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Archaeometallurgy, Environment & Landscape in Upland Laos: its impact on 'world-views' during the transition from the Bronze Age to early states in SE Asia.. Nigel Chang. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396687)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America