via Antiquity, 16 January 2024: In this new paper by Pryce et al., the archaeological site of Halin presents a new radiocarbon chronology extending from the early third millennium BC to the early second millennium AD. This study significantly contributes to the understanding of Southeast Asian prehistory, suggesting Halin as potentially the oldest Neolithic site in Mainland Southeast Asia.
Myanmar is located within an important geographic corridor of prehistoric demographic and technological exchange, yet relatively few archaeological sites have been securely dated. Here, the authors present a new radiocarbon chronology for Halin, a UNESCO-listed complex in the north-central Sagaing Division of Myanmar, which contributes to the generation of nuanced regional chronologies and to improving the temporal resolution of Southeast Asia more generally. Discussion of 94 radiocarbon determinates, together with site stratigraphy and pottery traditions, provides a chronological sequence from the early third millennium BC to the early second millennium AD. Corroboration of the beginning of this sequence would place Halin as the oldest currently dated Neolithic site in Mainland Southeast Asia and would provide support for the two-layer model of Neolithic migration.