via Bangkok Post, 01 October 2023: Si Thep, recently recognized as a Unesco World Heritage Site, offers a glimpse into Thailand’s multicultural past before kingdoms and nation states emerged. This ancient town, dating back to the Dvaravati period, challenges the conventional Thai history and advocates for a more inclusive historical narrative.
The Si Thep civilisation debunks the myth of the first kingdom and the subsequent ultra-Thai nationalism. Not only does Si Thep predate Sukhothai, but its society was also multicultural, with diverse faiths and ethnicities coexisting harmoniously.
Si Thep’s relations with other polities within a loose, decentralised conglomerate also demonstrated that many cities existed in ancient times before Sukhothai. According to archaeologist Srisakra, the Thai first kingdom with a centralised administrative system and power did not emerge until the early Ayutthaya period under King Boromtrailokkanat.
Source: Si Thep counters ‘Thai’ history