Pottery typology of the Ban Kao Culture: new data from recent research in Western Thailand
(The 2nd regional office of Fine Arts, Suphanburi, Fine Arts Dept.)
Paper short abstract:
This paper presents a study of pottery typology of the Ban Kao Culture. New archaeological data from recent survey and excavation has begun to reveal sub-regional characteristics. This paper demonstrates pottery-based cultural contact among various regional sites.
Paper long abstract:
This paper presents a study of pottery typology of the Ban Kao Culture as part of the project conducted by the FAD in Western Thailand. Ban Kao pottery is known for its elaborate designs and sophisticated technology. The late Per Sorensen, director of the Ban Kao excavation in 1960s, had classified the pottery to 26 types, mostly from burials. Recent excavation at Nong Rachawat has produced identical or variations of Ban Kao pottery types, but some types were very unusual and unknown at Ban Kao. The term 'Ban Kao Culture' has now been extended beyond the upper Mae Klong river basin (Kwai Noi river). Several Neolithic sites with Ban Kao type materials have been identified in the Tha Chin river basin. New archaeological data, especially pottery finds from recent survey and excavation, has begun to reveal sub-regional characteristics. Burnished tripods are still a common type, despite variations. The Nong Rachawat ceramics are particularly interesting because they appear to share characteristics of those found both in highland and lowland traditions. This paper demonstrates pottery-based cultural contact among various regional sites. The study results have broadened our understanding of the Ban Kao culture. These ancient people were not only lowland agriculturalists, but also their contemporaries, who resided in the highlands, buried their dead in cave sites. This current research hopes to provide an overview of pottery types of this Neolithic culture and to contribute to our understanding of inter-regional socio-economy.
Recent advances in the archaeology of central Thailand