via The Past, 18 July 2022: Prof. Charles Higham writes about Bronze Age social stratification in northeast Thailand.
The wealth of these early Bronze Age people stunned. A good half were accompanied by a copper-base axe. I say copper-base, because our analyses reveal a lack of tin alloying. Some wore copper anklets and bells. There were tens of thousands of marine-shell beads, hundreds of shell-and-marble bangles, earrings, and up to 80 superb pots of multiple forms. Just one of many new insights springs to mind. Imagine uncovering the top of a grave long enough to contain an adult, but, on revealing more, finding instead the skeleton of a newly born baby. Beyond the head and feet, the grave was filled with pots that were quite probably the remains of feasting ceremonies during the burial. Nestling among the pots by the head, we struck a pocket of green that turned into a socketed copper axe. This was but one of several such infant graves that posed a question: why bury an axe with an infant?
Source: Rise of the elites | The Past
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