The 'Metal Age' at the Niah Caves, c. 2000-500 years ago

Katherine Szabo, Franca Cole, Lindsay LLoyd-Smith, Graeme William Barker, Chris Hunt, Philip Piper, Chris Doherty

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The term 'Metal Age', sometimes with locally-specific sub-divisions such as 'early', 'develop d' and 'protohistoric', is used in Island Southeast Asia a harthand for the p · riod from about 200 years g until the arrival of Europ ans. Tt \· as originally pr posed because of th· Ia k f clear chron logical sep<~ ration between the appearan e of iron and bronze in th region, compared with on the Asian Mainland (Bellwood 1999, 116; Fox 1970, 121-2; T. Harrisson 1970, 30; van Heekeren 1958, 1). Despite the fact that people at Niah may have been acquainted with metal from c. 2500 BP (Chapter 7, pp. 289-90), the term Metal Age remains a useful tag for a period beginning c. 2000 BP that is inherent! diverse, and often eclectic. Perhaps because of this diversit there have been remarkably few attempts at synthesi , scholars tending to focus on the technology and distribution of metal artefacts (e.g. Chia 2007; Soejeno 1980) or on dominant external cultural influences and their local manifestations (e.g. been able to undertake thus far. Hence we can only present here a preliminary assessment of the material and its implications for the nature of the 1etal Age in northwest Borneo, Anal !;is is complicated by the lack of an agreed Met
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRainforest foraging and farming in Island Southeast Asia
    Editors Graeme Barker
    Place of PublicationUK
    PublisherMcDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
    ISBN (Print)9781902937540
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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