The series is intended to make technical data available to all scholars who work on Southeast Asian archaeology.
Site reports in this series should include:
- a description of the archaeological project: when, where, and by whom was the research conducted
- history of previous research at the site
- research questions addressed by the project
- analysis of results
- stratigraphic drawings
- site maps
- tables providing quantitive data on specific types of artifacts
- illustrations of the main types of artifacts discovered (photographs and drawings)
- laboratory analyses of mineral composition, identification of organic materials, the ancient environment, dating methods and results
Site reports containing such information are difficult or impossible to obtain for Southeast Asia. The situation is somewhat better for prehistoric sites, but such information is almost completely lacking for archaeological sites formed during the historical period (the last 2,000 years). Without such information it is impossible to formulate detailed theories regarding the evolution of complex society in this region: the approximate date or period when particular developments appear in different parts of Southeast Asia, the stages in the evolution of such critical variables as settlement patterns, local and long-distance trade, local and regional art styles, metal working, boat construction, architecture, and the roles played by the environment and cross-cultural contact in determining the timing, sequence, and nature of such developments.
Since the main medium by which these reports are designed to be disseminated is electronic, the reports in this series can be updated, modified, added to, and otherwise altered to adapt to the needs of the academic community as more sites are added, new typologies for artifacts and methods of organizing data are found to be significant, and new questions are posed. It is hoped that the use of this medium will enable scholars to communicate across political boundaries in order to foster regional collaboration.