Volume 24 : Articles

Ban Chiang Pottery and Rice

A Discussion of the Inclusions in the Pottery Matrix

By: Douglas E. Yen

Rice (Oriza sativa) remains are hardly novel discoveries in Asian archaeology. Reported as grain husks or glumes, charred endosperms or as husk impressions in ce­ramics from north and south China, Japan, India, Pakistan and Southeast Asia includ­ing Indonesia, their influence on the inves­tigation of agricultural origins has been considerable. (Figure 1). With the possible exception […]

The Ancient Inhabitants of Ban Chiang

The Evidence from the Human Skeletal and Dental Remains

By: Michael Pietrusewsky

Introduction Studies of human skeletal and dental remains excavated at Ban Chiang provide physical anthropologists with some impor­tant insights into the biological, demo­graphic, and epidemiological histories of these early inhabitants of northeast Thailand. Their physical appearance, ages to which they survived, the diseases they suffered, the changes which mark their nearly four thousand year history, […]

Potsherds Into Printouts

The Ban Chiang Computer Project

By: John Hastings

As a new recruit to the Ban Chiang lab 1 was astonished at the huge quantity and variety of material being studied and the number of people working on it. The awesome amount of information being amassed, I was told, was being ‘put in a computer,’ and I was assigned to an experienced volunteer who […]

Processing the Ban Chiang Finds

With Particular Reference to Volunteer and Student Work at The University Museum

By: Joyce C. White and Deborah Wong and Lois Kratz and Cheryl Applebaum

Following the completion of the 1975 excavation at Ban Chiang, all the material recovered from the two seasons of excava­tion by The University Museum/Thai Fine Arts Department joint project was shipped to various parts of the world for analysis by appropriate experts. Thus, the human skeletons went to Dr. Michael Pietrusewsky of the University of […]

Natural History Investigations at Ban Chiang

The Study of Natural Resources and Their Use Today Aids Reconstruction of Early Village Farming in Prehistory

By: Joyce C. White

Although social scientists have long con­sidered Southeast Asia a cultural back­water of China and India, biologists have noted since the 19th century that botanical evidence pointed to this region as an inde­pendent and probably very early source of plant domestication. One recent com­pendium (Li 1970) lists over twenty species of plants that were probably domesticated […]

Ban Chiang in Retrospect

What the Expedition Means to Archaeologists and the Thai Public

By: Pisit Charoenwongsa

Without the accidental discoveries in 1957 by a local villager and the subsequent archaeological work [beginning in 1967), Ban Chiang would have remained an ordi­nary village like thousands of others in dusty, impoverished northeast Thailand. There would be no T-shirts bearing the now familiar painted pottery motif; there would be no replicas of ancient urns […]

The Road to Ban Chiang

A Dialogue of Events Leading to The University Museum's Participation in the Expedition

By: Elizabeth Lyons and Froelich Rainey

Foreword by Miss Lyons The Ban Chiang Project began in the late 1960s when Dr. Froelich Rainey was Direc­tor of The University Museum, and without his interest and support, particularly in the early days, the Museum would not have been involved in this important excavation, Since I had been in and out of Thailand tong […]

The Curators Write

The Museum's Ban Chiang Project

By: Gregory L. Possehl

It is my privilege, after the untimely death just over a year ago of my friend and colleague Chet Gorman, to write the fore­word for this special edition of Expedition devoted to the site of Ban Chiang in Thailand. Chet and I arrived at the Museum the same year, 1973, as Assistant Curators in what […]

Prehistoric Man and His Environment

Evidence from the Ban Chiang Faunal Remains

By: Charles Higham and Amphan Kijngam

The excavations at Ban Chiang have opened a new chapter in our understanding of Southeast Asian prehistory, not only because of the richness of the material culture, but also because of the wealth of data on the environment and economy. Over five millennia of human occupation on the Khorat Plateau have transformed the landscape. Plant […]

Petchabun Piedmont Survey

An Initial Archaeological Investigation of the Western Margins of the Khorat Plateau

By: James S. Penny, Jr.

The Petchabun Mountains stand in sharp contrast to the nearly level land which comprises most of the Khorat Plateau, northeast Thailand. The forest-clad moun­tains rise to more than 1500 meters. At the highest elevations, the climate is so much cooler that one may find plants and ani­mals normally found in more northerly lands. In the […]