SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Moore, Elizabeth (2009) 'Place and space in early Burma: a new look at 'Pyu Culture'.' Journal of the Siam Society, 97. pp. 1-27.

This is the latest version of this item.

Text - Published Version
Download (1MB) | Preview


Ancient Burma (Myanmar) is commonly split into Upper Burma ‘Pyu’ and Lower Burma Mon cultures, an ethnic classification of walled site cultures in the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwaddy) basin that began with fourth to ninth century C.E. scripts. The early Buddhist archaeology, however, points to multiple groups and spreads far beyond the Irrawaddy drainage system. The Mon typology has profitably been unravelled in Aung-Thwin’s controversial study (2005), but, while his advocacy of the Pyu primacy has been questioned, rudimentary definitions of the first millennium C.E. ‘Pyu culture’ have remained largely unchallenged. The blinkered results of text primacy in defining ethnicity and cultural identity are addressed here, with data from recent discoveries used to identify a relational engagement between the brick walls and terracotta urns typical of early Buddhist cultures in Upper Burma. This localised integration of spatial and spiritual factors is further strengthened by a range of artefacts and indigenous texts.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Pyu Myanmar (Burma) archaeology
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of History of Art and Archaeology
ISSN: 0304226X
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2009 14:43

Altmetric Data

There is no Altmetric data currently associated with this item.

Available Versions of this Item

  • Place and space in early Burma: a new look at 'Pyu Culture'. (deposited 05 Oct 2009 14:43) [Currently Displayed]


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item