via World Archaeology, 22 January 2022: A new paper by Iannone at al. merging ethnoarchaeology with settlement patterns in Bagan.
Little is known about the lifeways of the commoner populations that supported the expansive pre-industrial cities of Southeast Asia. Archaeologically driven understandings are constrained by the fact that the architecture and much of the material culture utilized by ordinary citizens were made from perishable materials, and many living floors were also raised above the actual ground surface on piles. The challenges associated with searching for and interpreting these quotidian remains, once they are found, can be mitigated to some degree through the integration of ethnoarchaeological insights. This study outlines the results of detailed ethnoarchaeological investigations within ten traditional Myanmar villages located in proximity to the remains of ‘classical’ Bagan’s walled and moated royal city. We then explore how these findings have helped our excavation team recognize and interpret a range of residential remains associated with the ancient city’s peri-urban support population.