via New Mandala, 10 October 2018: Is Suvarnabhumi even a real place?
While we have to appreciate the profound work of scholars like O.W. Wolters, H.G. Wales, Georges Coédes, and the impeccable work on Chinese texts by Paul Wheatley, historians have gotten used to treating Suvarnabhumi or its synonyms in other languages as a historical-geographical fact. I argue, instead, that Suvarnabhumi is a literary device. We need to work together as archaeologists, linguists, local and international, art historians, historians and heritage scholars to get rid of the idea of Suvarnabhumi as a physical location. I am not saying we should stop studying Suvarnabhumi, but perhaps it is time we stop treating it as a piece of empirical source material.