South East Asia 1500 BCE

Major population movements affect this region from both east and west.

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What is happening in South East Asia in 1500BCE

Expansion

By this date Austronesians are settling the coast and islands of the Philippines, as well as points further east, into the Pacific, and south, towards New Guinea. They are sailors and fishermen, and have developed advanced boat-building and navigation techniques.

Rice farmers

Meanwhile, continued population expansion in southern China is leading Austroasiatic-speaking peoples to migrate from there into northern South East Asia. They bring with them their wet-rice farming techniques, pioneered by their ancestors in the Yangtze Valley, and this allows their numbers to grow. Their rice-farming villages soon dot the rivers and valleys of present-day Burma and Laos. Their descendants, notably the Mon and Khmer peoples, will come to form a major part of the population of mainland South East Asia.

Next map, South East Asia in 1000 BCE

Dig Deeper

Hunter-gatherers

The coming of farming

Ancient East and South-East Asia

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