SOAS University of London

Alphawood scholars contribute to trying to solve an ancient mystery of Southeast Asia

23 February 2022

Suvaṇṇabhūmi (Pāli), Suvarṇabhūmi (Skt) ‘Land of Gold’ is one of the fascinating mysteries of Southeast Asia. The name is recorded in many texts in several languages and is associated with the Buddha, India’s first Buddhist emperor Aśoka, early Myanmar, a district of northeast Thailand (Suwannaphum) and Bangkok’s big new airport. The Land of Gold clearly had an important role on the early Maritime trade route, yet its location has yet to be determined.

I am currently conducting a research project in Thailand entitled 'The Assessment of Suvarnabhumi Knowledge Status Project.' This is funded by the Suvarnabhumi Studies Centre at the Thailand Academy of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts (TASSHA), and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation.

Our aim is to assess and revise knowledge about Suvarnabhumi in the fields of history, archaeology, art, and anthropology from primary and secondary sources as well as from modern academic works written in a wide range of languages.

I have invited SAAAP scholar Saw Tun Lynn, to join my project in order to assess the Myanmar sources on Suvaṇṇabhūmi, which is often cited as an early name for Burma.

We would be very pleased to receive additional help from SAAAP alumni to participate and demonstrate the growing imprint of SAAAP scholarships in the Region.

Source: Pipad Krajaejun

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