Effects of trade
O’Connor thinks human society on these islands became more hierarchical after trade was established with other regions about 3000 years ago.
She says that Bronze Age prestige items, such as Dong Son drums, may have been traded for rare spices such as nutmeg, mace and cloves, which were once found only on these islands.
Sign up for the Live Science daily newsletter now
Get the world’s most fascinating discoveries delivered straight to your inbox.
Tom Metcalfe is a freelance journalist and regular Live Science contributor who is based in London in the United Kingdom. Tom writes mainly about science, space, archaeology, the Earth and the oceans. He has also written for the BBC, NBC News, National Geographic, Scientific American, Air & Space, and many others.