“Southeast Asia’s Early Maritime Exchange Networks
and their Impact on Southern China during the Han Dynasty”
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Archaeological evidence from Southeast Asia points to the operation of trade and exchange networks linking the region to the Indian subcontinent – as well as coastal areas within the South China Sea – by the mid-first millennium BCE. However, it is not until the first century BCE that evidence of sustained trade with southern China emerges, with the ports of Hepu and Panyu playing an important role in this development. Even as burials at these coastal locations have yielded significant amounts of materials originating from Southeast Asia, relatively few such artifacts have been found inland, a spatial pattern which encourages caution when evaluating the impact that Southeast Asia’s early maritime exchange networks had on southern China during the Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE).
Co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology’s
Archaeology Brown Bag Lecture Series