Southeast Asia: A History in Objects (British Museum)


A new take on Southeast Asia’s complex history, expertly told through art objects and cultural artefacts dating from the Neolithic Age to the present.

Southeast Asia is home to numerous world heritage sites. Through engaging texts and expertly curated objects from the British Museum collection, arranged chronologically and thematically into seven chapters, this volume offers a new approach to one of the most complex and diverse areas of the world. Every object tells a story in a wide-ranging and accessible selection that illuminates the civilizations, societies and local cultures that have defined Southeast Asia over the past 6,000 years.

From the emergence of early agricultural communities and stratified societies to the rise of powerful empires and religious developments in Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity, and to the eras of colonial rule and independence, curator and art historian Alexandra Green traces and explores the variety of Southeast Asian cultures. The texts describe the region through a broad range of objects, including sculptures from the historic civilizations of Java, Angkor, Bagan and Sukhothai, as well as ceramics, furniture, religious items, basketry, textiles, popular posters and contemporary art. This book is an informative visual delight for curious minds everywhere.