Han-related artifacts found in central and southern Vietnam: date, distribution and diversity
Paper short abstract:
This paper focuses on Han-related artifacts unearthed in central and southern Vietnam, assigned to the period from the Iron Age to the emergence of early state societies. Reviewing the date, distribution and diversity of these artifacts, the socio-political significance of Han influence is examined.
Paper long abstract:
This paper focuses on Han-related artifacts unearthed at several archaeological sites in central and southern Vietnam, assigned to the period from the Iron Age to the emergence of early state societies. After 111 BC when northern Vietnam, the homeland of the Dong Son culture had been annexed to Western Han, the cultural influence of Han gradually spread southwards. The large-scale uprising led by the Trung sisters that took place in AD 40, suppressed by a prominent Eastern Han general of Ma Yuan, seriously impacted upon the society of the Dong Son culture, and inevitably that of the Sa Huynh culture located further south. Both these cultures had declined by the end of the 1st century AD, and the early polities such as Linyi and Funan developed through the 2nd and the 3rd centuries. Although both are well-known as "Indianized" states, the Han influence seems to have been crucial, especially in Linyi before the Indian influence became outstanding.
The diverse range of Han-related artifacts associated with Iron Age burials includes bronze mirrors, coins and iron instruments, and that found in walled citadels of Linyi includes Han style stamped ware and roof tiles. In this paper, these artifacts are reorganized chronologically, and the distribution of artifacts is reviewed based on the chronological framework. Then, aiming to clarify the socio-political significance of Han-related materials, the process of assimilation and localization of Han influence is examined, taking into account the interaction between the local society and the population moved from the north.
The archaeology of contact between China and Southeast Asia between the mid-1st millennium BC and the mid-1st millennium AD