Emergence and Diversification of the Neolithic in Southern Vietnam: Insights From Coastal Rach Nui

Marc F. Oxenham*, Philip J. Piper, Peter Bellwood, Chi Hoang Bui, Khanh Trung Kien Nguyen, Quoc Manh Nguyen, Fredeliza Campos, Cristina Castillo, Rachel Wood, Carmen Sarjeant, Noel Amano, Anna Willis, Jasminda Ceron

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We examine the southern Vietnamese site of Rach Nui, dated to between 3390 and 3850 cal BP, in the context of three major aspects of the Neolithic in Mainland Southeast Asia: mound formation and chronology, construction techniques, and subsistence economy. Results indicate that this ca. 75 m in diameter, 5 m high mound, comprising over a dozen phases of earthen platforms, upon which were raised sophisticated wooden structures, was built in <200 years. While consuming domesticated millet, rice, and occasionally dogs and pigs, the main subsistence orientation included managed tubers and fruits and a range of mangrove ecosystem taxa: catfishes, turtles, crocodiles, monitor lizards, macaques and langurs, to name a few. This combined vegeculture-foraging lifeway in a mangrove forested environment, likely in the context of a tradable goods extractive industry, adds to a growing picture of significant diversity, and sophisticated construction skills in the Southeast Asian Neolithic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-338
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Island and Coastal Archaeology
Volume10
Issue number3
Early online date13 Feb 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • building technology
  • coastal adaptation
  • mangrove ecosystem
  • mound construction
  • vegeculture-foraging subsistence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Archaeology
  • Ecology
  • History
  • Archaeology

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    Oxenham, M. F., Piper, P. J., Bellwood, P., Bui, C. H., Nguyen, K. T. K., Nguyen, Q. M., Campos, F., Castillo, C., Wood, R., Sarjeant, C., Amano, N., Willis, A., & Ceron, J. (2015). Emergence and Diversification of the Neolithic in Southern Vietnam: Insights From Coastal Rach Nui. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology, 10(3), 309-338. https://doi.org/10.1080/15564894.2014.980473