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date: 04 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Significant demographic, economic, social, and technological shifts occurred in south and South East Asia from the onset of the Holocene set against profound environmental restructuring. In South Asia, some areas became more humid and wet; in South East Asia the deglacial rise in sea levels dramatically altered the region’s geography. Each impacted on the survival, distribution, and density of hunter-gatherer populations, but it also sparked innovation. In South Asia there was an increase in seasonally sedentary occupation and a trend in some areas towards incipient agriculture. In South East Asia, pre-existing practices appear to have been intensified, coastal resources became prominent, and there was a new emphasis on arboreal prey. Across these neighbouring regions new forms of technology, changes in social structure, and symbolic expression accompanied these adaptive shifts, each making their appearance during this time, as new responses mixed with old traditions to meet new challenges.

Keywords: South Asia, South East Asia, hunter-gatherers, innovation, technology, economy, distribution

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