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Shuhaimi, Nik Hassan (1984) Art, archaeology and the early kingdoms in the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra: c. 400-1400 A.D. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This study is an attempt to establish, the nature of the Buddhist sculpture found in Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia and Peninsular Thailand. From this, it is hoped that new light will he thrown on the relationships between Palembang, the assumed capital of Srivijayan Empire, and other areas, the consequent effects upon the flucutations of power of Palembang over other areas, and the role of Palembang as a source for Mahayana Buddhism expansion in South East Asia. The thesis is divided into seven chapters. In the first chapter, the aim of the study is set out, with a survey of past work on Srivijaya and finally the approach to be undertaken. The second chapter is a survey of the topography and archaeology of the sites from where the sculptures were found, while the third chapter discusses the rise of local workshops producing Buddhist images in composite forms of style, traces their origins. The fourth chapter is the study of the oldest Avalokitesvara image in the Srivijayan Empire. The fifth chapter establishes the beginnings of the stylistic relationships between Palembang and the Peninsula which culminate in the production of masterpieces, such as those found in Jaiya, that may be dated to the middle of the 9th century A.D. In this chapter too the significance of the Avalokitesvara images with tiger symbols are discussed. The sixth chapter deals with images which were influenced by Indo-Javanese and later by Cola art and considers their implications. The arguments are illustrated and supported by photographs, maps and plans.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 14:58

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