FUNAN (Phu Nam) from a new perspective
Keywords:Funan, Oc Eo, Southern Vietnam
Funan (Phu Nam) is a historical entity that existed during the first seven centuries CE and left a tremendous cultural heritage. For different reasons, many historical aspects of this kingdom remain unexplored. For a long time, it was studied mainly through scattered and sketchy records collected from ancient Chinese bibliographies. Only after the archaeological discovery of the Oc Eo by Louis Malleret did the historical understanding of the Funan kingdom become fuller. However, due to the war, the research was unable to progress further. After 1975, Funan was revived mainly within circles of archaeological studies. Using novel archaeological evidence, this article reconstructs the lives of Funan inhabitants. It sees Oc Eo as a culture of indigenous origin with a community speaking MalayoPolynesian languages. It also shows that the Oc Eo indigenous culture had lasting vitality. Despite the fact that the Funan state collapsed in the seventh century, archaeological evidence demonstrates many of its cultural traditions preserved and developed by later southern communities.
Received 10 January 2022; accepted 8 April 2022
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