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ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE IN POLITICAL ECONOMY AND IDEOLOGY: TRANSITION FROM THE EARLY HISTORIC TO PRE-ANGKORIAN PERIOD CAMBODIA, VIEWED FROM THALA BORIVAT

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Title:ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE IN POLITICAL ECONOMY AND IDEOLOGY: TRANSITION FROM THE EARLY HISTORIC TO PRE-ANGKORIAN PERIOD CAMBODIA, VIEWED FROM THALA BORIVAT
Authors:Heng, Piphal
Contributors:Stark, Miriam T. (advisor)
Anthropology (department)
Keywords:Archaeology
Cambodia's archaeology
Organizational change
Settlement patterns
Southeast Asia
show 2 moreState formation
Temple economy
show less
Date Issued:Dec 2018
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:Investigating the intersection between ideological shift and the early state formation is a perennial topic of archaeological inquiry, but most archaeological work until recently concentrated on either New World societies or on case studies from the Near East and South Asia. This rich comparative research base has yielded insights into social, economic, and ideological structures in the face of organizational change, but few examples have been included from East or Southeast Asia. This research focuses on developments in the lower Mekong basin (modern-day Cambodia) to understand the roots of the Angkorian state that flourished from the 9th to 14th centuries CE. Using the pre-Angkorian period to study early state development offers insights for Asian scholars and valuable comparative insights.
Documentary evidence, both internal (epigraphic) and external (Chinese), suggests that states emerged by the 6th/7th centuries CE in parts of the lower Mekong now associated with Cambodia. Chinese documents describe the rise of the Chenla kingdom. Such contemporary Tang dynasty descriptions coincided with the earliest appearance of a suite of new traditions: brick architectural shrines and temples, elaborate Indic statuary which these brick structures housed, and Khmer and Sanskrit dedicatory inscriptions on the doorways and rooms of these ritual public structures. Previous scholars have explained early state formation in Cambodia as reflecting largely either external influences (or primarily trade with China and India) or internal developments (and specifically, the rise of an agrarian elite who appropriated Indian religious ideology to legitimate their claims to power). Increasing attention to Cambodia’s archaeological record suggests that both processes were at work in the pre-Angkorian world.
This study investigates the relationships between the introduction of Indic religious ideologies, their temples and organizational changes during the transition from the Early Historic to the pre-Angkorian periods by using a political economy model. Archaeological strategies are employed to investigate organizational changes associated with economic system, interaction, ideological shift, and political centralization. The economic model of agriculture and trade, new ideologies associated with the Indic-related temple, and social stratification, are best evaluated from the scope of pre-Angkorian temple economy to explain its state formation through the analysis of distributional surface data and excavated materials.
This research concentrates primarily on one pre-Angkorian regional center in northern Cambodia along the Mekong River in Stung Treng Province: Thala Borivat. A secondary center, Sambor in Kracheh, is investigated to provide a comparable settlement dataset. This region lies far from the Tonle Sap region where the Angkor temples later emerged and from the Mekong delta where first millennium states arose. Thala Borivat is strategically located between important upland resources to the north in modern-day Laos and the rich alluvial Mekong delta to the south. Yet no previous archaeological fieldwork has been undertaken to study settlement patterns in this area.
Description:M.A. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2018.
Pages/Duration:459 pages
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/62050
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: M.A. - Anthropology


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