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Calo, Ambra (2007) Transitions of a feathered world : The distribution of bronze drums in early Southeast Asia. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This study focuses on the distribution of early bronze drums from their centres of production in north Vietnam throughout Mainland and Island Southeast Asia, as evidence of cultural contact and cross-regional exchange along river and maritime routes during the late Metal Age and the proto-historic period. This is the period just prior to, and overlapping with, the first Chinese and Indian influences in the region. The exchange of bronze drums established alliances between early centres favouring the trade of other goods, and defining early cultural spheres which set the stage for the process of state formation in the historic period. Adopting a synoptic view over the entire distribution across national boundaries, I analyse what types of drums are found where by identifying a series of regional clusters. Each cluster of drums highlights and clarifies specific questions regarding chronology, routes of transmission, the geographical extent of trade networks, and new local bronze casting traditions arising from the influence of the imported bronze drums.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:12

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