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date: 25 April 2019

Abstract and Keywords

With the Bay of Bengal littoral as its focus, this chapter reviews the archaeological evidence for human expansions, migrations, formation of exchange networks, long-distance trade, political impulses, and transmissions of technocultural traditions in deep time, from around 5000 bc to 500 ad. In doing so, the author offers the idea of the Bay of Bengal Interaction Sphere, a “neutral” model of analysis that sets aside the constraints of the old Indianization debate for South-Southeast Asian interaction and situates the Bay within a broader global framework extending from the Mediterranean to the Far East in a new narrative of contact and change.

Keywords: Bay of Bengal, exchange networks, Austroasiatic, Austronesian, Indianization, Southeast Asia, China, technocultural, Indo-Pacific, Mediterranean

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