The seafaring activities of the coastal communities opened paths to sailors, traders, artisans and monks. That those connections went around political frontiers and led to the development of cultural hybridisations, some of them shared by those fringe societies, is a concept well known by anthropologists and historians.
However, in Southeast Asian prehistoric archaeology, the heuristic potential of apprehending simultaneously the connections of societies on the rims the Bay of Bengal and the South China Sea during the prehistoric period remains under-investigated.
Seeking to erode traditional political and disciplinary frontiers in favour of more diverse perspectives with complementary interpretive and explanatory strengths, we invite participants to draw together varied lines of enquiry ranging from botany, zoology, geology, archaeology, linguistics, art history, technological anthropology, and ethnology to examine the different types of interconnections which brought together the local, regional and inter-regional spheres of contacts of South Asia and Southeast Asia. Looking through the period 1000 BCE to historical times, we wish to discuss how those connections gave rise to shared socio-cultural configurations in many of those littoral communities.