Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture

By John S. Bowman | Go to book overview

Thailand

PREHISTORIC THAILAND: 36,000 B.C.–A.D. 100

Although there may have been early hominids who strayed into and through the land that would become Thailand, there are no known traces of human occupation until about 36,000 B.C. By this time, these people are modern Homo sapiens who share a fairly common culture with many people living throughout Southeast Asia and southern and central China. However, they are not the direct ancestors of most modern inhabitants of Thailand; during the ensuing millennia, different peoples will make their way into Thailand, all—except for those from India—probably of Mongoloid extraction. By about 10,000 B.C. the inhabitants of Thailand are participating in the general cultural developments of Southeast Asia, conducting a basic subsistence economy but diversifying their food sources and toolkit; starting about 2500 B.C. they begin to adopt agriculture (most especially rice), domesticate animals (pigs, cattle, fowl), and make pottery; by at least 1500 B.C. they are adding metallurgy to their repertoire of skills. During the next 1,500 or so years, the inhabitants of Thailand develop an economy that appears to be heavily dependent on wet-land cultivation of rice, which in turn leads to a more complex society, but what is lacking is evidence of political organization.

36,000–26,000B.C.: At Lang Rongrien, a rock shelter in southern Thailand, simple stone tools indicate human occupation; nothing more is known of these people nor of other contemporary sites in Thailand. At this site, there is then apparently a complete break in occupation until the Hoabinhian culture phase.

21,000–2500B.C.: In northern and central Thailand there are indications that some sites remain inhabited continuously to the Neolithic period.

10,000–2500B.C.: During this period, the Hoabinhian culture phase (so named after its prime site in northern Vietnam, Hoa Binh) is found in several parts of Thailand. The culture is distinguished by its particular type of flaked pebbles used as tools. The people also use many wooden and bamboo tools, including the blowgun, and they

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Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture *
  • Contents v
  • Consultants and Contributors vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture *
  • Part One - East Asia 1
  • China - Political History 3
  • China - Arts, Culture, Thought, and Religion 79
  • China - Science-Technology, Economics, and Everyday Life 99
  • Japan - Political History 118
  • Japan - Arts, Culture, Thought, and Religion 162
  • Japan - Science-Technology, Economics, and Everyday Life 179
  • Korea 193
  • Taiwan 225
  • Hong Kong 236
  • Macau (Macao) 244
  • Part Two - South Asia 250
  • India - Political History 251
  • India - Arts, Culture, Thought, and Religion 325
  • India - Science-Technology, Economics, and Everyday Life 355
  • Pakistan 370
  • Bangladesh 379
  • Bhutan 384
  • Maldives 389
  • Nepal 393
  • Sri Lanka (Ceylon) 400
  • Part Three - Southeast Asia 408
  • Brunei 409
  • Cambodia 415
  • Indonesia 436
  • Laos 452
  • Malaysia 465
  • Myanmar (Burma) 476
  • The Philippines 488
  • Singapore 501
  • Thailand 506
  • Vietnam 521
  • Part Four - Central Asia 545
  • Mongolia 547
  • Central Asian Republics 566
  • Tibet 577
  • Appendix 1 - National/Independence Days 583
  • Appendix 2 - Scientific-Technological Achievements in Asia 590
  • Appendix 3 - Asian History: a Chronological Overview 603
  • Index 679
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