Although the Fine Arts/University of Pennsylvania excavations at Ban Chiang took place 40 years ago, the results have never been published. In this lecture, Charles Higham, who excavated at Ban Chiang in 1974-5, presents a new chronology for this site, based on radiocarbon dates taken from the bones of the prehistoric people themselves. This new dating framework necessitates a radical reappraisal of the place of Ban Chiang in the prehistory of Thailand, which comes into sharp focus when compared with new and dramatic archaeological discoveries in the upper Mun Valley that have uncovered princely Bronze Age graves and later, an agricultural revolution that stimulated the rise of early states, including that of Angkor. In this interpretation, Ban Chiang is seen as a provincial backwater, while the Mun Valley was a centre of seminal and rapid cultural changes.
Charles Higham is a Research Professor at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He was educated at Cambridge University, where he is an Honorary Fellow of St. Catherine’s College. He has been undertaking archaeological fieldwork in Thailand since 1969, and has been involved in or directed excavations in Udon, Mae Hongson, Roi Et, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima and Chonburi provinces. He is currently excavating the site of Non Ban Jak in Nakhon Ratchasima. Professor Higham is a Fellow of the British Academy, the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Society of Antiquaries of London. His most recent book on Thailand “Early Thailand: from Prehistory to Sukhothai”, is published by River Books.
Date: Thursday February 19th, 2015
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Venue: National Museum Auditorium, Bangkok
Donation: Member 100 Baht / Guests 200 Baht
Registration is not required but would be appreciated
Source: Press Release