Recent Archaeological Investigations in the Iron Age of Central Thailand. A Talk by Thanik Lertcharnrit


Surface finds from the excavation in 32017 at Promtin Tai, Lopburi


Prehistoric human occupation in central Thailand began in the Neolithic period, possibly earlier, and continued until the Iron Age or late prehistoric time. Throughout over 2,000 years of settlements, there were significant changes in several aspects, including social, cultural and economic evolution, while the prehistoric times also saw cultural and economic continuity over millennia. This talk presents recent archaeological investigations in east-central Thailand, where a great deal and wide variety of archaeological evidence dating to prehistoric and early historic times has been discovered. Topics of presentation range from settlement patterns, subsistence strategies (e.g., agriculture, craft production, metal smelting), trade, and social stratification. This lecture focuses largely on the Iron Age as more evidence has been unearthed in the past decade by the speaker. It is primarily concluded that prehistory in Mainland Southeast Asia in general, and in Thailand in particular, is a period of great adaptation, invention and consistency, as shown by various lines of evidence or cultural materials and economic, social and cultural practices based on intra and inter-regional perspectives.

Dr. Thanik Lertcharnrit earned his BA in archaeology from Silpakorn University (Bangkok), followed by MA and PhD degrees from the Dept. of Anthropology, Washington State University in Pullman, USA. He is currently working as a full-time faculty member of the Dept. of Archaeology, Silpakorn University. Over the last 30 years, he has conducted archaeological research in Thailand, with a particular focus on the prehistory of the Central Plains, where he has excavated prehistoric and early historic sites. He has taught undergraduate and graduate classes, including World Civilizations, Human Evolution, Introduction to Archaeology, Cultural Resource Management, Archaeological Method and Theory, and Field Archaeology. His laboratory experience includes the isotope and geochemical analysis of archaeological remains (beads, human and animal bones, shell artifacts) at institutions in the USA, Sweden and Australia.  He is the author of numerous articles, book chapters, books and research reports.  He has been invited to present papers at national and international conferences in Thailand, USA, UK, France, Japan and Sweden. Ajarn Thanik has also served as the Editor of Silpakorn University Journal of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts and a host of other national and international journals.

Date: Thursday, 9 November 2017
Time: 7.30 p.m.
Place: The Siam Society, 131 Asoke Montri Rd, Sukhumvit 21

Non-members donation: B200. Siam Society members, members’ spouses and children, and all students showing valid student ID cards are admitted free of charge. For more information, please contact Khun Arunsri or

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The Siam Society is deeply grateful to the James H.W. Thompson Foundation for its generous support of the 2016-2017 Lecture Series.