Life after death, ritual and mortuary practice during 10th-12th centuries AD: new perspectives from Dvaravati settlements in Central Thailand
Paper short abstract:
Native Belief Systems of Mortuary Practice, new evidence from Dong Mae nang Muang and U-Thong, Dvaravati settlement, Central Thailand.
Paper long abstract:
In 2008, Dvaravati sites in upper Central Thailand, Dong Ma Nang Muang, Nakornsawan province were excavated and revealed great number of burials under the ruined monument, which possibly Dvaravati Stupa. This site can dated as 10th-12th centuries AD according to ceramics analysis. The significance of these burials is no associated finds such as grave goods or dedication object were found as well as still no pattern of mortuary practice. Therefore, preliminary hypothesis of burials was, all human skeletons were probably buried in the same time and Stupa was built over funerary area. On the other hand, in 2010, another famous Dvaravati site, U-Thong in Supanburi province, central Thailand, had been re-excavated by San Thaiyanonda(2013). Two inhumations were found under ancient town moat. Thermo luminescence dating of brick from moat is about 10th-11th centuries AD. Characteristic of burial are similar to Dong Mae Nang Muang's, without any grave goods and dedication also no pattern of mortuary practices as well.
According to new evidence from U-Thong and Dong Mae Nang Muang, it'd be inferred that during 10th-12th centuries A.D. Dvaravati people had the ritual which is similar to Pre-Historic period's. However, the important characteristic of mortuary practice from this age are lacking of grave goods and associating with monument or structure are different from Pre-historic time, therefore, it could be implied about some belief and ritual which are native unlike Buddhism or Hinduism.
Archaeologies of religion: material approaches to the study of belief systems in Southeast Asia