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(2015)New Direct, Indirect and Questionable Archaeological Evidence for Silk in Vietnam
Judith CAMERON(The National Australian University)
While the significance of silk in early interactions along the eponymous Silk Road of the historical period is incontestable, little is known about the movement of silk textiles into mainland Southeast Asia during the late prehistoric and early historic periods. Historical sources indicate that as early as the Qin dynasty (221-207 BCE) large quantities of silk textiles were used in diplomacy, to extend China’s influence along its western and southern borders. In order to establish such alliances, the prince of Zhou reportedly bestowed more than 1, 000 rolls of embroidered silk on his neighbors but thus far few extant remains of archaeological silk have been identified. This paper focuses on direct and indirect evidence for silk in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand that provide new insights into prehistoric interaction and Chinese expansion into these contiguous regions.


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