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Early Civilizations of Southeast Asia (Archaeology of Southeast Asia) Paperback – December 21, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0759102798 ISBN-10: 0759102791

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Product Details

  • Series: Archaeology of Southeast Asia
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press (December 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0759102791
  • ISBN-13: 978-0759102798
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,283,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Dougald O'Reilly's synthesis of mainland Southeast Asia in the first millennium C.E. makes a genuine contribution to research on ancient complex societies. It should stimulate more archaeological interest in the region, both as a source for cross-cultural comparison and as its own field of study. (Miriam Stark, University of Hawaii-Mano)

As one who taught South East Asian archaeology for nearly thirty years, I can say that a book such as this would have been a most useful text and teaching aid. I am impressed by the wide-ranging and careful scholarship shown by Dr. O'Reilly and his evaluation of often difficult and sometimes contradictory evidence from historical sources, ethnology, inscriptions and field archaeology. (Ian Glover, Institute of Archaeology, University College London)

The work will have wide appeal...the book offers a thorough compilation of recent research in Southeast Asian archaeology. Summing Up: Recommended. (CHOICE, January 2008)

Early Civilizations of Southeast Asia highlights research on the pre- and protohistoric societies of Southeast Asia, with a focus on Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam. The civilizations of Southeast Asia have a long and storied history, resulting in the region's complexity in ethnic and linguistic groups. O'Reilly highlights the archaeology and historical research undertaken in the region, both classic and contemporary, to provide a general picture of the events that shaped early Mainland Southeast Asia. (John Miksic, Asia Research Institute, University of Singapore)

About the Author

Dougald JW O'Reilly is director and founder of HeritageWatch, a non-profit organization dedicated to heritage preservation, and a lecturer at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alexandra M. Lucas on August 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very informative book. I found it very helpful when writing uni essays for SE Asian archaeology, it is concise, referenced throughout (Thank you for this- another helpful aspect) and Dougald has utilized very good sources when writing it. Another thing I like about this book is the language- straight forward and easy to understand. Too often do I feel as though academics sit there right clicking words in Microsoft Word to find synonyms to embellish their texts- outcome: what are they trying to say?! I could not be more grateful for this- put it in the middle of your shelf and buy Charles Higham to sit next to it.

I am still using it (AGAIN- 3 years later), to assist me in writing an essay on Indian modernism.

Absolutely no doubts about this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Anton Zakharov on October 28, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The monograph by Dougald O'Reilly seems to be a nice contribution to historiography of Early Southeast Asia. It gives a vast picture of early historical developments of the region. It includes a reconsideration of state formation theories and re-examines different theories of `Indianization' of Southeast Asia.
O'Reilly holds that the well-known Southeast Asian polities of the first millennium C.E. but Chenla were chiefdoms. He believes they were `exclusionary' or `individualizing' that means monopolizing of sources of power by an individual. The `Indianization' of Southeast Asia passed through two main stages. During the first one which dates from the fourth century B.C.E. to the second century C.E., foreign artifacts such as glass and stone beads and Indian-style ceramics appeared in Southeast Asia. They serve as the tokens of symbolic power and possibility to obtain them through long-distance exchange. During the second period which covers the second - the fourth centuries C.E. the number of objects increased considerably but their diversity decreased. The adoption of Indian beliefs, art styles, writing, political and social concepts also took place during this epoch.
O'Reilly supposes that `the process of "globalization" began in the early centuries of the first millennium C.E. At this juncture of civilizations from North Asia, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and the Mediterranean Basin became involved in a vast trade and exchange network' (p. 199).
I think, by the way, that the label of the monograph is misleading because it concerns the mainland Southeast Asia only. If you want to know how early Indonesian polities evolved this book gives you no data except some remarks on Srivijaya (pp. 59-61). Unfortunately, they also partially misleading.
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The finest book on mainland Southeast Asia first early kingdoms and civilizations. This up-to-date book is essential for scholars and those who love seeing unknown and little known ancient history come alive from archeological finds, early inscriptions and the legacies of early kingdom and religious chronicles. I am so happy and proud to have it on my bookshelf and refer to it often!

Dr. Dougald O'Reilly is a masterful writer, easy to read yet abundant in information about ancient sites, history and cultural finds. This kind of book is only written by an expert in their field, evidencing such a wide range of knowledge of the different countries. Yet O'Reilly is still young in his career! I have read books that spend chapters and chapters covering what he can accomplish in a page and a half of concise and graceful prose. This book has a genius of organization at its core, in a field where disorganization and lack of knowledge has reigned for too long.

He tackles the Burmese, Thai, Cambodian, Laotian and Vietnamese ancient scene with aplomb!

Well done, Dr. O'Reilly! More, more!
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