Old chedi of Wat E Kang at Wiang Kum Kam
Wat E Kang at Wiang Kum Kam. Picture by Roy Cavanagh.

Archaeology, or archeology, is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archeological record consists of artifacts, architecture, biofacts or ecofacts, and cultural landscapes. The area of Central and North Thailand has a rich history. Prehistoric Thailand may be traced back as far as 1,000,000 years ago from the fossils and stone tools found in northern and western Thailand.

At an archaeological site in Lampang, northern Thailand Homo erectus fossils, Lampang Man, dating back 1,000,000 – 500,000 years, have been discovered. In 1999, skull fragments of Homo erectus were found by Somsak Pramankit in Ko Kha, Lampang. It was comparable to the skull fossils of Sangiran II Man found in Java, (Java man), which is 400,000 – 800,000 years old, as well as Peking Man. Stone artefacts dating to 40,000 years ago have been found at Tham Lod Rockshelter in Mae Hong Son.

The Neolithic or “New” Stone Age was a period in the development of human technology that is traditionally the last part of the Stone Age. Neolithic culture appeared in many parts of Thailand, amongst others in Mae Hong Son, about 9000 BCE. People pioneered wild cereal use, which then evolved into true farming. For peninsular Thailand evidence of rice agriculture exists from 2500 – 2200 B.P. However, the possibility of an early presence of rice agriculture in southern-peninsular Thailand has recently been discussed by scholars. Please send us a request if you are interested in archeology.

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