Ban Chiang Archeological Site

Background: The Ban Chiang Archeological Site was added to the World Heritage List in 1992, and is located in Thailand. The site was nominated because it was the center of a remarkable phenomenon of human cultural, social, and technological evolution in the fifth millennium BC, which occurred independently in this south-east Asia and spread widely over the whole region. It is one of three cultural Heritage sites that are located in Thailand.

 

Basic Archaeological Site: The site is 64 ha. It has been estimated to represent from 3600 BC to 300AD; this covers the early, middle, and late period.

 

Archaeological Summary:  

Khorat plateau began seeing settlers around 3600 BC. This brought a majority of hunter-gathers who started to farm and domesticated cattle and tried their hand at dry-rice cultivation. During the early period the people refined and improved agricultural methods, developed skills such as house construction, pottery manufacturing, and burials showed increasing social complexity. The middle period started with the introduction of wet-rice farming, and technological advances in ceramics and metal products. The late period saw further technological and social advances. It also brought better ceramic design and production. Ban Chaing occupation ended in the third century AD. Currently the majority of the site lies under the modern village of Ban Chaing so only a little piece of the people and culture has been uncovered but it still leaves enough evidence of a long cultural link. The main excavations that take place are on the perimeter of the existing village where a lot of the graves from all three periods are. Only one excavation is for public viewing which has a permanent cover building and there is a museum in a different part of the village. This site is said to be the most important prehistoric settlement so far discovered in south-east Asia. The cultural progression over four millennia presents the earliest evidence of farming, and the manufacturing and use of metals. This site is the longest, biggest, and wealthiest prehistoric site found within the region. It does haves some concerns in the future with the danger of a collapse some day in the future due to the impermeable sealants used. There was a problem with looting of the red-on-buff pottery from the site in the 1960’s but since then the village has learned the cultural importance and looting has ceased.

Status: There are no threats to this site at this time

Sources:

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/575/

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/575/documents/ (Advisory Body Evaluation)

Pictures:

http://www.world-heritage-tour.org/asia/southeast-asia/thailand/ban-chiang-museum/print.html

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/575/

Want more information? Check out this website: http://www.worldheritagesite.org/sites/banchiang.html

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