Translation of The Origins of the Civilization of Angkor, Volume Two: The Excavation of Noen U-Luke and Non Muang Kao into Thai


Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Grants to Individuals in East and Southeast Asian Archaeology and Early History Translation Grants (East and Southeast Asia)




New Zealand


I wish to translate the recently published report on the excavations of Noen U-Loke and Non Muang Kao. These are two very large, moated settlements in Northeast Thailand, excavated in 1977-8. I was the co-director of the excavations. Noen U-Loke is unique: it covers 12 hectares and is ringed by five extensive moats and banks. The excavations identified not only much economic, occupation and industrial data, but also four mortuary phases incorporating 154 human burials that cover the entire period of the Iron Age (400 BC - 400 AD). This is a pivotal period in Southeast Asian prehistory, seeing the transition into early states. The burials reveal a detailed picture of social changes, including the presence of some exceedingly rich men and women during phase 3, associated with ornaments of gold, silver, carnelian, agate, iron and bronze. The dead were interred in graves filled with burnt rice. The English publication incorporates chapters on the environment, human burials, human bones and pathologies (two individuals suffered from leprosy), the glass, stone, ceramic and other items of material culture, the faunal remains, and contains a final chapter setting out the implications of this and the related site of Non Muang Kao for Thai and Southeast Asian prehistory.