Southeast Asia Timeline

(Dates for Khmer rulers: Michael D. Coe, Angkor and the Khmer Civilization, 2003)

Table I. Prehistoric Periods

Neolithic/Early Farming (before 500 BC) Iron Age (after 500 BC)
Rice culture from 2300 BC. Stone axes, megaliths, cist graves, terraced burial mounds. Ornamental use of bronze from 1500 BC. Dong-Son culture (Vietnam). Bronze drums. "Moon of Bali" (Indonesia). Plain of Jars (Laos).

Table II. Before 1000 A.D.

150 AD - 550 AD 550 AD - 800 AD 9th century 10th century
Indonesia Buddhist and Hindu influences via trading states. Shrivijaya (Sumatra) 775-864: Shailendra dynasty (central Java).
800: Borobudur, Mendut
900: Lara Jonggrang (central Java)
Pyu kingdom (N)
Mon kingdom (S)
832: Thais conquer Pyu capital
850-1120: Early Period (Pagan)
Burmese peoples migrate from S. China into N. Burma
Dvaravati Mon kingdom (S): 1, 2, 3, 4 Dvaravati Mon kingdom (S) Tai peoples migrate from S. China into N. Thailand
Cambodia Late Iron Age chiefdoms. "Funan" (Mekong delta). Angkor Borei, Oc Eo. Trade links with Rome, Ancient Near East, India, China Early Kingdoms period. "Chenla." Sambor Prei Kuk (Ishanapura). Hindu, Buddhist sculptures. 802-835: Jayavarman II founds Khmer empire.
877-889: Indravarman I (Bakong).
889-900: Yasovarman I founds Angkor (East Baray)
928-941: Jayavarman IV, capital at Koh Ker.
944-968: Rajendravarman.
968: Banteay Srei
Old City at Lingaparvata (later site of Wat Phu)

Vietnam Chinese (N)
Champa (S)

Dong Duong monastery complex 939: Viets (N) expel China

Table III. 1000 A.D. - 1400 A.D.

11th century 12th century 13th century 14th century
Indonesia Rajendra Chola invades Srivijaya. Kediri kingdom (East Java) Singosari (Singhasari) kingdom (East Java); 1 2 Majapahit kingdom (Bali); 1, 2
Introduction of Islam via Aceh (North Sumatra).
Burma 1044-1077: King Anawrahta of Pagan captures Mon capital and unifies Burma. Theravada Buddhism becomes official state religion. Golden Age of temple-building at Pagan. Karen drums 1120-1170: Middle Period (Pagan)
1170-1300: Late Period (Pagan)
1287: Kublai Khan captures Pagan 1300-1500: Lan-Na conquer Burma, which splinters into separate states
Thailand Khmer capture Dvaravati
ca. 1250-1438: Sukhothai (S); 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
1275-1317: King Rama Kamheng. Thai alphabet
1296-1556: Lan-Na kingdom; capital at Chiang Mai (N)
1350-1767: Ayutthaya (S); 1, 2
Cambodia 1002-1049: Suryavarman I (Royal Palace, West Baray)
1050-1066: Udityavarman II (Baphuon)
1080-1107: Jayavarman VI (Phimai)
1113-1150: Suryavarman II (Angkor Wat)
1177: Chams sack Angkor
1181-1215: Jayavarman VII; Khmer empire at greatest extent. Angkor Thom, Bayon.
1296: visit of Zhou Daguan
Beginning of Khmer Post-Classic. Thais repeatedly invade. Theravada becomes state religion. Pali replaces Sanskrit.
Laos Wat Phu Wat Phu
1350-1707: Lan Sang founded by Khmer prince; capital at Luang Prabang (N)
Vietnam 1009-1224: Dai Viet ("Later Ly") dynasty (N)
1069: Chams move capital S. to Vijaya (Binh Dinh)
Dai Viet (N)
Champa (S)
1225-1400: Tran dynasty (N)
1257: Viets repel Mongol invasion
Tran (N)
Champa (S)

Table IV. 1400 A.D. - 1800 A.D.

15th century 16th century 17th century 18th century
Indonesia 1405-1407 Zheng He naval expedition visits Java.
Majapahit kingdom in decline.
Islamic sultanates in Indonesia; Portuguese expeditions. Dutch and British vie for control of the lucrative Indonesian spice trade. 1800: Dissolution of the VOC and formal Dutch takeover of the islands.
1498-1613: Portuguese traders and adventurers; Burmese sack Ayutthaya Capital at Ava (Ratnapura) 1752-1823: Konbaung dynasty unifies N and S. British, French, Dutch influence
1782-1819: King Badawpaya conquers Arakan, builds at Mingun. Mahamuni temple
Thailand 1434: Emerald Buddha discovered in N
1461: Lan-na captures Sukhothai
1551: Emerald Buddha taken to Laos
1558: Burmese capture Chiang Mai
1569: Burmese sack Ayutthaya, take spoils (including those from 1431 Thai sack of Angkor) to Burma
Burmese dominate N 1767-1932: Bangkok Period (1, 2).
1767: Burmese sack Ayutthaya again, but are driven out in 1777.
1778: Emerald Buddha taken back to Thailand
1782: Thais move capital to Bangkok (Wat Phra Kaeo, early phase)
Cambodia 1431: Thais sack Angkor, take spoils to Ayutthaya. Khmer capital moves S. to area around Phnom Penh. 1528: Ang Chan I moves capital to Lovek 1600: Massacre of Spanish Garrison; unstable kingdom caught between Thailand and Vietnam Viets conquer Mekong delta. Cambodia assumes roughly its modern boundary
Laos Lan Sang Lan Sang 1690: Lan Sang splits due to internal rivalries. S. capital at Vientiane 1778-1827: Vientiane becomes a Thai vassal state
Vietnam 1407: Chinese occupy the N but are expelled by Le Dynasty
1428-1539: Le Dynasty (N)
1471: Viets take over most of Champa
1539-1787: Trinh Dynasty (N)
1558-1778: Nguyen Dynasty (S)
Trinh (N)
Nguyen (S)
1771: Tray Son Revolution

Table V. 1800 A.D. - 2000 A.D.

19th century (first half) 19th century (second half) 20th century (first half) 20th century (second half)
Indonesia Dutch colonial period.
1811-1814: British invade Java during the Napoleonic Wars.
Dutch colonial period. 1942: Japan occupies Indonesia during WW II
1950: Independence following WW II
Muslim republic, with significant minorities on Bali (Hindu) and Sulawesi (Christian/Animist)
Burma 1824-1866: Anglo-Burmese wars.
1853: Capital at Mandalay
1886-1935: British annex Burma to India 1947: Independence following WW II 1958-present: Various military governments
Thailand Thais and Viets fight over Cambodia.
1832: Wat Pho
1851-1868: King Mongut (Rama IV), the king of "Anna and I" (Wat Phra Kaeo, later phase, 1, 2)
1868-1910: King Chulalongkorn, tutored by Anna 1946-present: King Bhumipol King Bhumipol
Cambodia 1834-1841: Viets briefly annex Cambodia.
1848-1860: King Ang Duong institutes reforms
1863: Cambodia becomes French protectorate 1953: Independence 1975-1978: Khmer Rouge
Laos 1828: Thais sack Vientiane and destroy the S. kingdom. Luang Prabang, the N. kingdom, remains independent. 1893: French force Thais to renounce territorial claims in Laos. 1947: Independence, with capital at Vientiane 1975: Communists sieze power following Vietnam War
Vietnam 1802-1945: Nguyen Dynasty re-established, unifies Vietnam.
1830-1860: Viets execute over 30,000 Vietnamese Catholics, triggering French intervention
1867: South Vietnam becomes French colony. Protectorate in North 1954: French defeated at Dien Bien Phu. Vietnam divided into Communist N. and non-Communist S. 1961-1973: Vietnam War. U.S. intervenes on behalf of S., then withdraws. 1975: North Vietnam conquers S.