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