Prehistoric Local Systems in Central Thailand: Analysis of a Ceramic Subregion: Its Stylistic Patterns and Technology


Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Grants to Individuals in East and Southeast Asian Archaeology and Early History Postodctoral Fellowships (North America)


University of Pennsylvania Museum and Cotsen Institute of Archaeology (UCLA)


This research implements an integrated approach to the study of ceramic correlations between stylistic patterning and technology of production during the Metal Age (ca. 2,000 BC – A.D. 500) in Thailand. It continues systematic investigation of prehistoric ceramics in central Thailand in order to refine the regional ceramic chronology and characterize, through the application of thin-section petrography, the pottery of the Ban Mai Chaimongkol (BMC) subregion with regard to its technology of production in an effort to define “a local system.” Evidence for community-based specialization (e.g., copper production) in prehistoric central Thailand in particular justifies the need for a more in-depth understanding of these communities, their socio-economic organizations, and their development over time. Previous research on the Khok Samrong-Talchli Undulating Terrain (KSTUT) defined at least seven ceramic subregions during the Metal Age in central Thailand. One ceramic subregion (BMC) was fully documented during intensive foot survey, and for the first time its distribution has been identified as extending across three environmental zones. While ceramic traditions like that of the BMC, which are shared among prehistoric Thailand sites, have been previously identified, their socio-economic implications have yet to be fully explored.