Late Neolithic to Early-Mid Bronze Age semi-precious stone bead production and consumption at Oakaie and Nyaung'gan in central-northern Myanmar

Georjon, Cloé, Kyaw, Aung Aung, Win, Tin Tin, Win, Thu Thu, Pradier, Baptiste, Willis, Anna, Petchey, Peter, Iizuka, Yoshiyuki, Gonthier, Eric, Pelegrin, Jacques, Bellina, Bérénice, and Pryce, T.O. (2021) Late Neolithic to Early-Mid Bronze Age semi-precious stone bead production and consumption at Oakaie and Nyaung'gan in central-northern Myanmar. Archaeological Research in Asia, 25. 100240.

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Abstract

For many decades, the appearance of semi-precious stone ornaments in Mainland Southeast Asian late prehistoric assemblages was closely associated with external actors: Taiwan and Island Southeast Asia in the case of nephrite, and South Asia in the case of carnelian. Carnelian beads in particular have long been held as a type marker of early contact across the Bay of Bengal, from the mid-late 1st millennium BC. With this paper we demonstrate, from the central-northern Myanmar settlement and cemetery sites of Oakaie and Nyaung'gan, not only the presence of semi-precious stone beads, but also their production during the Late Neolithic to Early-Mid Bronze Age, late 2nd millennium to early-mid 1st millennium BC. We employed the chaîne opératoire technique to establish reliable links between the industrial and funerary evidence, as represented by 489 finished beads and a vast quantity of production debris. The sites in question are chronologically-overlapping and separated by only five kilometres, but such ornaments are found across the region and it is of fundamental importance to provide a solid foundation to expand semi-precious stone ornament studies and unravel the complex networks of social interactions that led to their exchange.

Item ID: 65245
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2352-2275
Copyright Information: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Funders: French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)
Projects and Grants: JSPS KekenhiKiban-C 18K01088
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2020 01:59
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210102 Archaeological Science @ 50%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2101 Archaeology > 210103 Archaeology of Asia, Africa and the Americas @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950502 Understanding Asias Past @ 100%
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