The archaeology of Northeast Thailand

A feature on the archaeological sites of Northeast Thailand. Incidentally, I went to a number of the sites mentioned in the story while on fieldwork earlier this year.

Khao Chan Ngam, Nakhon Ratchasima Province. Bangkok Post 20120830
Khao Chan Ngam, Nakhon Ratchasima Province. Bangkok Post 20120830

Rediscovering ancient civilisations
Bangkok Post, 30 Aug 2012

Blessed by its geography, the northeastern region of Thailand, Isan, is home to an ancient heritage, which traces back 1,000 to 5,000 years.

“It is because Isan features many mountains, which cavemen used as shelter and left their imprints through rock paintings,” said Sunisa Chitrbhandh, an anthropologist and director of the administration office of the Fine Arts Department.

Although a few ancient paintings were found in the Central Region, there are not as many as in the Northeast, she added.

Take the famous paintings on the cliff at Pha Taem National Park in Ubon Ratchathani as an example. The prehistoric rock paintings, which include the giant Mekong catfish, elephants and human hands, are estimated to be at least 3,000 years old.

Full story here.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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