Ancient Southeast Asia

By: Liz, Sam, and Reagan


Society was impacted by many religions. Some of which were Confucianism, Mahayana Buddhism, Daoism, Islam, and Hinduism. Religions were brought to many places, from many places. There were three main empires during this time. The Pagan kingdom, Kymer empire, and Srivijaya empire.

Pagan Empire:

Located in present day Myanmar the Pagan Empire was ruled and United by King Anawrahta. He filled the city with great dome shaped shrines called stupas. The king also helped make Buddhism the major religion there. Their decline came along with Anawrahtas death.

Khmer Empire:

Shaped by Indian influences the Khmer empire had rulers that ruled over much of what today is Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and southern Vietnam, and Malaysia. The rulers were Hindus, however most of the common people preferred to be buddhists. King Suryavarman the 2nd built a great temple complex with many carved figures that tell Hindu stories to glorify him. Much of the ruins still survive today.

Srivijaya Empire:

It was an island empire located in Indonesia. They had success trading and shipping from their location. They had Buddhist and Hindu beliefs. Later on Islam also spread to some of the islands making this a very religiously diverse region. It also boosted their trade with Muslim trading centers.

Interesting/Unique Civilization

The Southeast Asia civilization is very unique and interesting. For example, Southeast Asia had developed their own culture before Indian and Chinese did. Also, they had many ethnic groups including the famous group Khmer. Finally, women had the higher equality then men.

Leading off of Southeast Asia having many ethnic groups including the famous group Khmer. The ethnic group Khmer was around for a long time, 802 CE to 1431CE. Also, Khmer inherited many territories along the Mekong river. At Khmer's peak it covered what is now modern day Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Southern Vietnam.

Another unique fact is that the women in Southeast Asia had the higher equality. Since, the women in Southeast Asia had a higher equality then men they had the eligibility to become a ruler. Also women were higher in politics too.

Overall, Southeast Asia is a very unique/interesting civilization. We learned that their culture developed before Indian and Chinese culture. Also, that women had a higher equality then men. Finally, they had many ethnic groups including a famous group Khmer.


Thy geography is very different in different parts and helps with trade in many ways. The first region includes countries such as Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Loas, Vietnam, and some of Malaysia. This region has many peninsulas between India and China. The second region includes countries Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, and the Philippines. It has more than 20,000 islands between Indian Ocean and South China Sea. Borneo is the largest island out of those 20,000 and it is also the third largest in the world. It is in relation to many Indonesian islands. It is also separated by many high plateaus and mountains. These mountains are separated by four major river valleys. There are trades routes. These trade routes happen in the Southern Seas. They travel when the monsoon winds come to help them push towards there destination. When the monsoon winds don't come they harbored their vessels in Southeast Asian ports which were used for trade.

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"Southeast Asia." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. 2015, "Southeast Asia." World Encyclopedia. 2005, & "Southeast Asia." Encyclopedia of Food;Culture. 2003. (2015). Southeast Asia. Retrieved December 21, 2015, from

Women in Southeast Asia. (n.d.). Retrieved December 21, 2015, from

Map of Southeast Asia Region. (n.d.). Retrieved December 21, 2015, from