[Lecture] The Emergence of Complex Behaviour: Examples from Ancient Southeast Asia

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Readers in Canberra may be intestested in this upcoming talk by Marc Oxenham in August 9

This presentation explores the evidence for the emergence of complex behaviour in the past, using Southeast Asia as an illustrative example. I ask what defines complexity in an archaeological sense and discuss this in terms of evidence for major archaeologically visible changes in human behaviour over time. After an over view of the population history of the region, I look at the rise of high density hunter-gatherer communities in northern Southeast Asia (southern China and northern Vietnam). The reasons for their success, and ultimate failure, are contrasted with the emergence of the first farming communities, and concomitant massive demographic changes, in the same region. Throughout the discussion of the emergence of complex behaviours I look to potential environmental (e.g. climate volatility and the effects of documented temperature rises of 2 to 4oC between 8-3,000 years ago) and anthropogenic (e.g. land clearance, wild plant and animal management) factors. Finally, I ask if any salutary lessons can be drawn from our nearest neighbours that adapted to and lived with the effects of climate change thousands of years ago.

Source: The Emergence of Complex Behaviour: Examples from Ancient Southeast Asia Tickets, Wed, 09/08/2017 at 4:00 pm | Eventbrite

Researchers find Southeast Asia’s earliest toilet

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A team of Australian and Vietnamese researchers have found what is thought to be Southeast Asia’s oldest toilet, potentially shedding light on how hunter-gatherers transitioned into settled communities.

Research sheds light on how Southeast Asia evolved from Hunter Gatherer to Farming Society
Heritage Daily, 14 June 2012

Asia’s First Toilet Discovered In Southern Vietnam
Asian Scientist, 18 June 2012

Ancient toilet found in Viet Nam [Link no longer active]
Viet Nam News, 20 June 2012
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