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Ban Chiang, The Bronze Age village

 Posted by , July 14, 2007 at 16:36:01 :: Thailand

In the northeastern part of Thailand, at the confluence of three small tributary streams in Udon Thani province, lies the Bronze Age village and cemetery site of Ban Chiang.

Ban Chiang Temple and Archeological Site, Udon Thani, Thailand

Legend has it that Ban Chiang was discovered by a clumsy American college student, who fell in the road of the present town of Ban Chiang, and found ceramics eroding out of the road bed. The first excavations at the site were conducted in 1967 by archaeologist Vidya Intakosai, and this and subsequent excavations by the Fine Arts Department in Bangkok and the University of Pennsylvania under the direction of Dr. Chester F. Gorman and Pisit Charoenwongsa have revealed evidence of prehistoric occupation beginning possibly as early as 3600 B.C. and continuing, probably intermittently, until about A.D. 200.

Ban Chiang Excavation Site, Udon Thani

The site is among the largest prehistoric Bronze Age sites in this part of Thailand, measuring at least 20 acres (8 hectares) in size. Ban Chiang is remarkable in that before its discovery, mainland southeast Asia was considered a cultural backwater during the Bronze Age; archaeological research at the site has revealed a fully developed Bronze Age metallurgy, but lacking the weaponry so often associated with it in Europe and the rest of the world.

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