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  • Print publication year: 2015
  • Online publication date: May 2015

16 - Early agriculture in Southeast Asia and the Pacific

This chapter explores the complex relationship between agriculture and urbanism, from its central role enabling the development of larger and denser settlements over time, to varying strategies and choices in agricultural practice. New technologies are increasingly aiding archaeologists in documenting the spatial networks of these urban centres. While classic, low-tech methods like pedestrian survey are still among the most thorough methods of locating archaeological sites within an urban catchment, this form of research is inherently limited in scale. These expanded archaeological data sets on urban-hinterland relationships have both increased our ability to challenge the standard narrative and illustrated its persistence. The modern understandings of the relationship between urbanism and agriculture continue to erode long-held beliefs, the standard narrative, that urban zones were highly centralized systems abstracted from their hinterland, which provided agricultural products for the city under despotic control.
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The Cambridge World History
  • Online ISBN: 9780511978807
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