This panel is dealing with ornaments and how they can be used to reveal the nature and the intensity of the interactions between ancient communities. The presentations will reflect the diversity of materials used to manufacture ornaments as well as the diversity of approaches developed to study this type of artifacts.
Beads, bracelets and other personal ornaments are fairly common at archaeological sites around the South China Sea where they are an important part of the material culture developed there over the three last millennium. After decades of being ignored, these artifacts are now getting at the center of large research projects as the study of the raw materials and technology used for the manufacture of ornaments along with style and distribution is providing precious information related to political and economical changes and how they occurred. Indeed, the composition of ornament assemblages at a given site is a reflection of the intra and inter-regional networks it belongs to and any shift through time reveals a modification of these networks. This panel would like to present research projects focused on shell, stone, metal or glass ornaments found at sites located in Southeast Asia, using integrative approaches combining different fields including archaeology, chemistry, geology, and art history among others.