Southeast Asia is a land of relative abundance. Finding food was as easy as sprinkling a few grains of rice and waiting, casting your net into the water, or simply picking wild-grown fruit from trees. For this reason, Buddhist scholars compared it to “Suvarnabhumi” – the Land of Gold from Buddhist mythology.
40,000 years ago, the first people settled in this region. Over the years, they went from hunter gatherers, to fishers, to farmers to metalworkers. They built villages of increasing size and complexity. And by the end of the first millennium BC they began to live in what we might call ‘cities’ or ‘states’.
Our protagonists this season, the kingdom of Ayutthaya, built their civilization on the framework left behind by their predecessors. In this episode, we survey the landscape of Southeast Asia, and meet the first people of the region.