288th Meeting – Tuesday, May 8th 2007
Mystery in the Mist of the Borderland of
A talk and presentation by Dr. Rasmi Shoocongdej
In comparison to other areas in
Apart from the difficulty of the physical environment, social environments are also strikingly different from other regions of Thailand because the area is occupied by various hilltribe groups including Tai, Karen, Lua, Lahu, et al. Surprisingly, this area is a “terra incognita” cultural landscape even for the “Thai” archaeologists as the majority of populations are not “Thai”, and they still speak their own languages and strongly maintain their cultural identities.
While highland Pang Mapha is known by scientists as a natural laboratory for a very rich biodiversity of seasonal tropical environments, the area remained marginal and unknown for Thai archaeology until 1998; the Highland Archaeology in Pang Mapha Project is the first systematic archaeological research conducted in the seasonal tropical highland area. This research is a long-term multi-disciplinary research involving 5 research teams: archaeology, physical anthropology, dendrochronology, ethnoarchaeology, and Geographic Information System. The project was initiated in 1998 and will be conducted to 2006.
a specific theoretical framework applicable to
The project aims includes 1) to establish a comprehensive cultural chronology and to built up a regional archaeological data; 2) to investigate and reconstruct the paleoenvironment in the highland Pang Mapha; and 3) to study the relationships between humans and their environments, in particular, the processes of changes in social organization through time.
Recent research has revealed remarkable new data on the late- and post-Pleistocene environments, subsistence and settlement patterns, and cultural continuities of the region. The site occupations vary in ages. Site types include burial sites, habitation sites, manufacturing sites, ceremonial sites, and rock painting sites. Two excavated rockshelter sites are representative of regional chronology. A tentative chronology spanning the late Pleistocene to Recent (ca. 35,000 to 1,200 BP.). Preliminary results of on going research will be presented.
The result of this research directly makes a significant contribution toward an understanding of better the interrelationship of prehistoric societies and seasonal tropical environments and will expand our knowledge of late- and post-Pleistocene archaeology in Thailand and Southeast Asia as well as the world.
University; Ph.D., University of Michigan) is an
assistant professor of archaeology and a
former chair of the Department of Archaeology (will be a former chair
October 2004), Faculty of Archaeology, Bangkok, Thailand.
Her areas of interest include late-to
post-Pleistocene forager in the tropics, Southeast Asian prehistory,
archaeology, and archaeology and ethnic education.
Her experiences include northern, western,
central, and southern
she is a principle
investigator of Archaeological Heritage Management Project at Tham Lod
Rai Rockshelters in Pang Mapha,
She is a co-founder and co-editor with Dr Elisabeth Bacus of Southeast Asian Archaeology International Newsletter since 1992-present. She is an advisory board on Southeast Asian Archaeology for World Archaeology Journal and Asian Perspectives.
in archaeological developments and activities in