posted on Sep, 21 2012 @ 02:56 AM
reply to post by SLAYER69
Southeast Asia has been populated for a long, long time. The people who first settled Australia and the Pacific Islands probably originated there.
Bronze Age artifacts in different parts of the region are dated from between 2100BC for the Ban
finds to as recent as 300AD for the newest Dong Son drums
. This shows us that
various levels of culture and civilisation long coexisted in this part of Asia. Such was still very much the case until the Second World War, which
forced many isolated island and jungle cultures into the twentieth century.
Cultures and civilisations would rise and fall with great rapidity in Southeast Asia. This was the hinterland of two high civilisations – the Indian
and the Chinese – and cultural influences from both permeated the region. The land is fertile and well-watered, making rice cultivation easy;
shallow seas strewn with islands facilitate trade as well as genetic and cultural exchange.
However, when cultures fell due to war or plague (malaria was a great scourge) or other causes, the jungle would return, often in less than a
generation, ripping apart and covering over the remains of what men had made. Places like Angkor Wat were once surrounded by vast cities, of which
scarcely a trace remains.
There may not be any other limestone tombs in the Philippines, but there are plenty of ancient stone remains in Southeast Asia.
on Java is older than these newly-discovered tombs; and Indonesia is full of Buddhist
artefacts of much earlier date than Borobudur. Even on the unpromising island of Borneo – a byword for impenetrable rainforest wilderness even a
generation ago – Buddhist artefacts dating to the 5th century AD have been unearthed; in fact, the earliest evidence of writing in Indonesia
actually comes from Kutai in East Borneo.
The history and prehistory of Southeast Asia make for a complex, fascinating and as yet largely untold tale. But beware of imperfect or fraudulent
scholarship; it is rife in this part of the world. Remember the
edit on 21/9/12 by Astyanax because: there's always more cool stuff to add.