The panel will bring together nterdisciplinary approaches to the early history of plants and animals in Southeast Asia
The study of the evolution of subsistence systems in Southeast Asia has lagged far behind more established fields such as art history. Although significant advances have been made in archaeobotany in recent years we are still a long way from developing comprehensive approaches to dating and locating the origins of agriculture and livestock production. It is becoming more evident that a multidisciplinary approach to the study of plants and animals is yielding more robust information. The panel proposes to begin the process of integrating data from different disciplines to produce a more comprehensive account of the early history of plants and animals in SE Asia, including domestication centres, transfers, agricultural systems and land use. The focus is on useful plants and animals but these need not be domesticated; for example, contributions on tree management would be welcome. We therefore call for multidisciplinary contributions that combine archaeobotany, archaeozoology, genetics, linguistics, ethnography and/or iconography in developing a regional expanded synthesis.