"Crossing Borders in Southeast Asian Archaeology" is an interdisciplinary conference designed to facilitate communication between archaeologists, art historians, and philologists who share a common interest in Southeast Asia’s past from prehistory to the historical period, and to encourage a greater exchange of views across the broad landscape of research on Southeast Asia. The conference provides an international platform for scholars from Europe, America, Australia, and Southeast Asia to present and debate on-going research projects and current field reports in this area.
Southeast Asia is an exceptionally diverse region. Different geographic and climatic environments, from mountains and upland valleys, river systems and deltas, to coast lines and islands, have led to the development of myriad cultural, political, and ethnic groups. However, since contacts between all these different life zones were always possible and highly effective, the conference encourages reflection on the transfer of knowledge, language, and material culture as aspects of this trans- and interregional interaction.
Four countries in Southeast Asia contain ten archaeological sites designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The conference includes panels on these locations designed to promote debate with scholars from the area on new approaches to research and preservation. The chance to invite local experts is one of the conference's main features and offers the German research landscape a unique opportunity for scholarly exchange.