The Origins of Ancient Vietnam

Hardcover | November 16, 2015

byNam C. Kim

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The Origins of Ancient Vietnam explores the origins of civilization in the Red River Delta of Vietnam and how related studies can inform our understanding of ancient societies, generally, and the foundations of Vietnamese culture, specifically. Long believed to be the cradle of Vietnamesecivilization, this area has been referenced by Vietnamese and Chinese writers for centuries, many recording colorful tales and legends about the region's prehistory. One of the most enduring accounts relates the story of the Au Lac Kingdom and its capital of Co Loa. Founded during the third centuryBC, according to legend, the fortified city's ramparts still stand today. However, there are ongoing debates about the origins of the site, the validity of the literary accounts, and the link between the prehistoric past and later Vietnamese societies. The Han Empire's later annexation of theregion, combined with the problematic accounts found in the Chinese chronicles, further complicates these questions. Recent decades of archaeology in the region have provided new perspectives for examining these issues. The material record reveals indigenous trajectories of cultural change throughout the prehistoric period, culminating in the emergence of a politically sophisticated society. Specifically, new dataindicate the founding of Co Loa by an ancient state, centuries before the Han arrival. In The Origins of Ancient Vietnam, Nam Kim synthesizes the archaeological evidence for this momentous development, placing Co Loa within a wider, global setting of emergent cities, states, andcivilizations.

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The Origins of Ancient Vietnam explores the origins of civilization in the Red River Delta of Vietnam and how related studies can inform our understanding of ancient societies, generally, and the foundations of Vietnamese culture, specifically. Long believed to be the cradle of Vietnamesecivilization, this area has been referenced by V...

Nam C. Kim is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:354 pages, 9.29 × 6.3 × 0.98 inPublished:November 16, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199980888

ISBN - 13:9780199980888

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgments1. In Search of a Prehistoric State2. Research Setting3. The Archaeology of Complex Societies and Ancient States4. Forms of Complexity in Southeast Asia5. War in the World, War in Southeast Asia6. Social Change and Emergent Complexity in Bac Bo7. Previous Research for the Co Loa Site8. Recent Field Investigations at Co Loa9. An Ancient City10. A Prehistoric State11. The Weight of the Past and the Pull of the Present12. A Prehistoric Civilization FoundBibliography

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"In this outstanding volume Nam Kim describes how his excavations have identified a capital that was founded by an aristocratic elite, prospered in its rich habitat, and ultimately faced Han Chinese imperial ambitions. Formerly the stuff of legendary kings, we now have a new and convincingprehistory anchored by the results of intense archaeological fieldwork." --Charles Higham, University of Otago