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Philip Stott, Ian Glover, John Guy, Michael Hitchcock, Ian Brown and Hiram W. Woodward jr

Region comprising the south-eastern portion of the Asian mainland and many thousands of islands to the south and east of it lying between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea (see fig.). At the end of the 20th century it consisted of ten independent states. Of these, five—Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Kingdom of, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, Socialist Republic of—constitute mainland South-east Asia, and five—Malaysia, Singapore, Republic of, Indonesia, Republic of, Brunei and the Philippines, Republic of the—constitute insular or maritime South-east Asia. The different historical development and cultural evolution of these ten states and their predecessors in the region (e.g. Angkor, Champa, Pagan), and the ethnic diversity of their populations are reflected in their arts, which are therefore discussed in detail in separate country surveys. However, they share a number of important elements of their culture and certain basic art forms and techniques, many of them already apparent in the prehistoric period, and these are considered here, together with certain general issues that are also common to the whole region....