IH202: Southeast Asia: The Rice that Binds?
Research Essay (10%)
The definition of the phrase ‘Settlement pattern’ is associated with the understanding of how a particular society used the available resources in its region. The phrase can also be described as the actual land upon which a settlement is built. So what exactly is the pattern of settlements in Southeast Asia?
Some say that the pattern of human settlement in Southeast Asia is dispersed settlements where buildings are spread out; an example would be the rural areas of Philippines, where different villages are at different parts of the country. Others say that it’s more like linear settlements that grow in a line, often alongside roads, river valleys or the coast, for
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More profit in proportion to labour exerted is the core in dictating settlement patterns. Communication and resources are as important too, as communication increases trading and pioneer settlers require wood for fuel and building to build a settlement. Next comes the physical factors. The few physical factors that influence the location of a settlement include, the water supply (settlements always require water to get on with their daily life, so they often choose a location on wet point sites for this), defence (locating their settlement on a high ground gives them an advantage during periods of war, such as high ground allow people to look out for enemies) and natural harbour. An example would be the fertile river valleys, especially in the delta areas, like the Mekong and Irrawaddy rivers, which provides a constant source of water, food and transport. The technological influences are connected to the physical environment to a certain extent. The technological composition of the current settlement is a result of assimilating to the natural topography, as well as the availability of resources. Language and ethnic compatibility are not exception. The nature of a settlement has its own language and lingo, this is one of the cultural norms that make up a society, making it easier for others to fit in and discouraging outsiders from interfering. By having their own lingo, outsiders would not