New considerations on the lithic assemblage from prehistoric site of Tham Lod rockshelter in Northwest Thailand
(UMR 7194 CNRS - UPVD Université de Perpignan Via Domitia)
Rasmi Shoocongdej (Silpakorn University)
Hubert Forestier (MNHN)
Paper short abstract:
This paper discusses the potential for high-resolution and long-term modelling of lithic assemblages of the Tham Lod rockshelter in Mae Hong Son province, northwest Thailand, with particular emphasis to the link between the morphology and technology.
Paper long abstract:
The Tham Lod rock shelter is a small overhang of a limestone cliff, 30 m long by 5 m wide by 20 high in Tham Lod Natural and Wildlife Education Center, Tham Lod village. With a total excavated area of 34 sq m. the site was excavated between 2001 and 2003 by a Thai research team lead by Rasmi Shoocongdej of Silpakorn University of Bangkok. Tham Lod excavations have involved three different excavation areas, materialized by contiguous deep trenches. The present analysis will be specially based on artefact assemblages from Area 3.
The stratigraphic fill of the rockshelter contains a large amount of faunal remains and lithic artifacts, indicating human occupation between about 40,000 and about 10,000 BP, according to the dating done by the thermoluminescence and radiocarbon methods.
The lithic assemblage accounts a large number of manuports and broken cobble, a rich pebble-tools component and a small percentage of retouched flakes. More abundant than products of débitage are shaped tools and especially the sumatraliths, a diagnostic type of "Hoabinhian" culture.
The focus of this approach focuses on the degree of raw material selection, the morphology and quality of blanks, the relationship between débitage and façonnage, in order to understand the determining factors in the operational schema of heavy duty tools shaping. The technological approach through the diacritic analysis and the identification of the techno-functional units allow us to understand its contribution of the "Hoabinhian" toolkit of Tham Lod rockshelter.
Lithic technologies in Southeast Asia