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The Shumla (Studying Human Use of Materials, Land, and Art), a centre for rock art research based in Texas, recently made a trip to Thailand to see some of the rock art there. Rock art is one of the least understood pieces of material culture in Southeast Asia, and in this region is given a cursory, by-the-way mention in texts. Rock art in Thailand is clustered around the northeast and along the peninsula.

Southwest Texas Live, 21 Feb 2008

Shumla sends Texas to Thailand for rock art research
Southwest Texas live, 21 February 2008

In northeastern Thailand, at Issan, another UNESCO location, Ban Chiang Archeological Site, was visited, featuring bronze and pottery artifacts that put it on the “must see” list for archeologists, according to Prewitt. Here Boyd and the entourage saw Thai rock art for the first time at Phu Phra Bat Historical Park, Udon Thani Province. “There are numerous examples of rock art in this park,” Prewitt reported, “and those visited were duly recorded with photographs.” UNESCO declares, “Ban Chiang is considered the most important prehistoric settlement so far discovered in Southeast Asia … [presenting] the earliest evidence of farming in the region and the manufacture and use of metals.”

It looks like the article is making a connection between the Ban Chiang culture and the rock art, but no link has established as yet. However, the depiction of dogs in some panels of rock art in the northeast would infer a minimum age of 2,000 years BP.

Related books:
Caves of Northern Thailand by P. Sidisunthorn, S. Gardner and D. Smart
Prehistoric Thailand: From Early Settlement to Sukhothai by C. Higham and R. Thosarat
Sacred Rocks and Buddhist Caves in Thailand by C. Munier

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