Prehistoric Art In Thailand

Prehistoric Settlements in North Thailand

  • There is evidence of settlement in Northern Thailand 500,000 to 100,000 years ago by hunters and gathers. Tools made of river stones have been found. From 30,000 to 7,500 prehistoric people there made tools and from 5000 to 3000 made more sophisticated tools and settled in villages, undertook agriculture and made pottery. Bronze and iron tools appeared 2,500 to 1,500 years ago.
  • Evidence of these things have been found at sites in Lamphun and Chiang Mai Provinces.
  • Interesting archaeological sites have been, [ 1 ] Ban Yang Thong Tai Site located in Doi Saket district about 10 kilometers north of Chiang Mai City, [ 2 ] Ob Luang Site within the Ob Luang National Park in Hot and Chom Thong districts of Chiang Mai Provinceand the [ 3 ] Ban Wang Hai Site located 1.5 kilometers south of Wiang Yong in Lamphun Province.

Prehistoric Rock Painting, Pha Taem Thailand
Prehistoric Rock Painting, Pha Taem Thailand

Prehistoric Settlements in South Thailand

  • There are three periods of history involving human occupation in South Thailand.
  • The Hoabinhian hunters and gathers were at cave sites in Peninsular Thailand including the huge cavern at Lang Rongrien at Krabi Province near Phuket. Radiocarbon determinations indicate settlement between 38,000 to 27,000 years ago.
  • In Trang Province further South is the Sakai Cave where dating puts habitation 10,000 years ago. The available evidence today of these settlements are the number of hearths, the bones of Macaques, gibbons, squirrels fresh water fish and marine shell fish as well as some some tools and clay supports.
  • The sea level altered during the Pleistocene period the temperature was colder and the sea coast line was located up to 30 km out from before, so caves are often found inland today. 

Prehistoric Settlements in Central Thailand

  • The Hoabinhian hunters and gathers also inhabited the Chao Phraya Valley. Again this is evidenced by the remains in caves and carbon dating. The main art remains are the pieces of pottery each revealing a wide range of decorative designs.
  • Again here also the sea level was not as today and most of the discovered caves are in surrounding limestone hills.
  • Later with rice cultivation there came the Neolithic settlements and again these can be found in concentrations in two parts of Central Thailand.

Prehistoric Settlements in North East Thailand

Prehistoric pottery design from Ban Chiang Northeast Thailand
Prehistoric pottery design from Ban Chiang Northeast Thailand

  • There are numerous locations and diggings in North East Thailand of the hunters and gathers and later the Neolithic settlements. The best location is at Ban Chiang east of Udon Thani [ 1 hour drive ]. This is a recommended tourist location of interest. The region is also famous for its Bronze Age sites.

Prehistoric Hand Painting, Thailand
Prehistoric Hand Painting, Thailand