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Historical Ecology of the Mekong in a set of 5 diachronic maps

Kallio, Marko; Walker Vadillo, Veronica

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  <dc:creator>Kallio, Marko</dc:creator>
  <dc:creator>Walker Vadillo, Veronica</dc:creator>
  <dc:description>Historical Ecology of the Mekong River
Version 1 (29-06-2020)

If used in a publication, please cite as:

Kallio, M., Walker Vadillo, V., 2020, Historical Ecology of the Mekong in a set of 5 diachronic maps. Helsinki, Finland. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3827019


The set of maps presented here are an attempt to illustrate the complex dynamics that sit at the heart of the Mekong River Basin, and the long-term interactions that humans have had with this watery world. On the one hand, it aims to capture the changing landscape that follows the regional monsoonal climate, which affects both navigation and water-related resources. It also aims to bring forth the long-term interactions between people and their environment, presenting a diachronic view of late prehistoric, protohistoric, historic, and contemporary settlement sites following geographically-oriented landscape approaches postulated by the Maritime Cultural Landscape (Westerdahl, 1992) and Historical Ecology (Crumley, 1994). The data was originally compiled by Walker Vadillo for her study on river navigation during the Angkor era (see Walker Vadillo, 2016), a work that was made possible by the generosity of the Centre for Khmer Studies (CKS) through their Senior Fellowship program, the ENITAS grant from Chulalongkorn University, and various grants received from the University of Oxford (Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology, St. Cross College, and the School of Archaeology). The maps deposited here were funded by the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies through the Core Research Fellowship program.

The first version of the map, in the form of a topological map, can be found in Walker Vadillo’s doctoral thesis (2016). A monograph based on the thesis is currently in preparation and will be published in the British Archaeological Review (BAR) series Cultural Studies in Maritime and Underwater Archaeology. Further articles in regards to navigation and fish exploitation are currently in preparation, details of publications will be uploaded here as they become available.

Call for contributors: The archaeological sites presented in this version of the map are not exhaustive and represent only major sites. The authors hope that the maps will be further expanded and corrected through cooperation with other experts as archaeological work continues to be conducted and new sites discovered. The authors would like to extend an open invitation to experts to make corrections and/or share relevant data in order to improve the map and further our understanding of the historical ecology of the Mekong River Basin. If interested, please get in touch with the authors about ways in which you can contribute.

The work is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence. See the licence terms at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The repository contains high-quality TIFF image files for each of the maps, as well as lower resolution PDF versions.   



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Walker Vadillo, V. (2016) The fluvial cultural landscape of Angkor: an integrated approach. Doctoral thesis, Oxford School of Archaeology Available at: https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:20b045c4-3e2e-4f61-99b2-5fcd904e3cdb

Westerdahl, C. (1992) The Maritime Cultural Landscape, International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, 21(1), pp. 5-14


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Yamazaki D., Ikeshima D., Sosa J., Bates P.D., Allen G.H., Pavelsky T.M. (2019) MERIT Hydro: A high-resolution global hydrography map based on latest topography datasets. Water Resources Research 55, pp. 5053-5073.</dc:description>
  <dc:description>Funding sources: Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (Core-fellowship program), Centre for Khmer Studies (Senior Fellowship program), Chulalongkorn University (ENITAS grant), Society for Nautical Research (Tomlin Award).</dc:description>
  <dc:subject>historical ecology</dc:subject>
  <dc:subject>cultural landscape</dc:subject>
  <dc:subject>maritime archaeology</dc:subject>
  <dc:title>Historical Ecology of the Mekong in a set of 5 diachronic maps</dc:title>
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