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Social Organisation and the Rise of Civilisation in the Mun River Valley, Thailand

KING, CHARLOTTE,LOUISE (2013) Social Organisation and the Rise of Civilisation in the Mun River Valley, Thailand. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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As one of the most extensively excavated and archaeologically interesting areas of Thailand, the Upper Mun River valley is central to archaeologists‘ interpretations of Southeast Asian prehistory. In this area there is demonstrable growth in social complexity from first occupation to eventual annexation by the state society of Angkor in the mid first millennium AD. The exact nature of social evolution, however, is still not fully understood. Debate rages over the factors upon which social stratification was based, whether hierarchy or heterarchy was in place, the timing of agricultural intensification and impact of external populations.

In this thesis isotopic studies are combined with osteological indicators of kinship and population affinity to shed light on these and other archaeological problems which remain unanswered in the Upper Mun River Valley. Isotopic analysis has allowed the identification of migrants in the cemetery of Ban Non Wat, and shown changes in subsistence strategy through time relating to the onset of social inequality and climate change. Analysis of cranial shape has shown that most migrant individuals have similar
genetic backgrounds to local people, but with the notable exception of one of the only adult jar burials at the site. The combination of dental non-metric techniques, isotopic analysis and cranial shape analysis has also added evidence to the debates over the presence of hunter-gatherers at the site, and the nature of social organization.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Southeast Asian Archaeology; isotopes; geometric morphometrics; agricultural transition
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Anthropology, Department of
Thesis Date:2013
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:24 May 2013 09:54

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