Abstract

Since 1996 research on circular earthworks in the red soil region of eastern Cambodia and adjacent Vietnam has intensiÆed. Several as yet undocumented Mimotien sites have broadened the knowledge about the regional distribution, location, and the layout of this site group. Within the scope of a German teaching program at the Royal University of Fine Arts, Phnom Penh, intensive Æeldwork at Krek 52/62 and soundings at Phoum Beng, Phoum Kampoan, and the Groslier site yielded more detailed information on the function and the dating of circular earthworks. Typically, the structures are situated on the top of a slight slope and are composed of an outer wall, an inner trench, and an inner central platform lower than the surrounding surface. The rampart could not be used as a water storage system. The elevation at the edge of the inner plateau can no longer be interpreted as intentional construction, but now is explained as the accumulation of an occupational layer. The circular earthworks possess one or two entrances that are constructed either as simple pathways or as complicated bridged systems. Both the proÆle of the sites (a steep inner side of the outer wall and a shallow inner ditch) and the absence of artifacts usable as weapons argue against the former interpretation as fortiÆcations. Rather, the artifact assemblages of the sites supply evidence for villages of rice farmers. Fragments of lithophones belong to the archaeological assemblages of two circular earthworks. The dating of the sites to the Neolithic is questioned. First attempts of radiocarbon dating of the organic temper of the pottery did not yield clear results. However, a glass bracelet fragment found in situ well within the occupational layer of Krek 52/62 gives evidence for the Ærst millennium B.C. date.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-8283
Print ISSN
0066-8435
Pages
pp. 20-46
Launched on MUSE
2000-01-01
Open Access
No
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