Author Topic: Excavations at Ban Nonwat  (Read 5532 times)

Mitraparp Monkey

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Excavations at Ban Nonwat
« on: June 26, 2009, 07:57:04 PM »
Stumbled over some info about excavations in Korat. Looked at websites that informed about them

Picture from

My friend remembered having seen something about a new excavation site in Korat on thai TV about two weeks ago. So we went there. Finallly we found the village Ban Non Wat. But what we expected to be an open plot with ongoing or preserved excavations turned out an excavation site where they were already digging since about eight years and always filling up the holes again after removing all the artifacts and bones. Nothing to see there at all except garbage thrown into the holes dug.  :o The villagers said the digs would continue next year.

But what keeps my mind busy is that all the (filled up) holes we saw weren't nearly as big as the one in the picture. But we were definitely in Ban Non Wat. Does anybody know more about that?  ???

Offline Johnnie F.

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Re: Excavations at Ban Nonwat
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2013, 09:31:35 PM »
Wikipedia does have an article about Ban Non Wat by now:

Ban Non Wat is a village in central Thailand, in the Non Sung district, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, located near the small city of Phimai. It has been the subject of recent (2002-present) excavation . The cultural sequence encompasses 11 prehistoric phases. The earliest is a series of flexed burials thought to represent hunter-gatherers. These were partially contemporary with the initial Neolithic settlement by rice farmers who also raised pigs, hunted a wide range of animals, fished and collected shellfish. There followed a late Neolithic, six Bronze Age and three phases of the Iron Age. This unique sequence has been dated with 76 radiocarbon determinations treated with Bayesian analyses. These reveal that the initial Neolithic settlement took place in the 17th century BC, while the Bronze Age began in the late 11th century BC. The transition into the Iron Age took place in about 420 BC.

The excavations have been run by Charles Higham, and now by Dr. Nigel Chang and are partially funded by the Earthwatch institute. They are considered by some to be amongst the richest archaeological digs under current excavation. The discovery of remarkably wealthy early Bronze Age burials illustrates profound cultural changes with the advent of copper base metallurgy. WIth the Iron Age, a new range of exotic ornaments accompanied the dead, including carnelian, agate and glass. Later in the Iron Age, the site was surrounded by banks and two moats, which involved the reticulation of water from the adjacent river round the site. The rice fields surrounding the village, although yet to be exhaustively studied, are thought to have been irrigated thousands of years ago, and preliminary dating has supported this theory.

Many of the artifacts recovered have suggested an ongoing link with the Khmer culture, unsurprising given the site's proximity to one end of the Ancient Khmer Highway, at the Phimai Historical Park.

Offline Johnnie F.

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Ban Non Chak dig: Ancient communities in Isaan had social classes
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2014, 09:36:44 AM »

Ancient communities in Isaan had social classes: study

Archaeologists have discovered ancient skeletons and items of interest in this excavation site, which is about 30 metres wide and 150 metres long, in Nakhon Ratchasima.

An archaeological dig in the Northeast has found that prehistoric communities in Ban Non Chak had social classes, with many pieces of earthenware and ornaments clearly devoted to some ancient skeletons.
"If we study such information carefully, we will be able to understand Thai ancestors who lived in prehistoric times," Dr Nigel Chang, from Australia's James Cook University, revealed yesterday. He is a participant in the Ban Non Chak excavation.

The site is considered part of Ban Non Wat, a famous archaeological site in Nakhon Ratchasima province that is about 10 kilometres away. Ban Non Wat is near Phimai Historical Park.

According to Chang, a total of 80 human skeletons from prehistoric periods have been discovered in Ban Non Chak. Some were adults, some teenagers, some children and others infants. "The findings offer demographic information of people back then," he said.

Of the 80 skeletons, five had a higher number of ornaments and earthenware pieces than others. This indicated that ancient communities had social classes.

Ratchani Thosarat, an archaeologist from Thailand's Fine Arts Department, said available evidence suggested there had been ancient communities in Ban Non Chak from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age and to more recent eras.

"We have found evidence of Dvaravati and Ancient Khmer culture here," she pointed out.

Excavations in Ban Non Chak have been carried out under the supervision of Wilawan Watcharakiatisak, who heads a research project on how to develop a learning centre on prehistoric communities. She is the director of the Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University's Office of Arts and Culture.

"We hope to integrate relevant efforts together for the sustainable development of communities. The conservation of arts and cultures, research, teaching, learning and academic services can be integrated with a cultural paradigm," Wilawan said.

Warika Thongkha, the head of Nong Krua Chud Pattana village, said members of her village discovered ancient items while they were preparing land for mobile plantations.

"Because of their belief in superstition, none dared to sell those items. And when officials contacted them for assistance with the excavation, they were more than willing to cooperate." She said they now hoped Ban Non Chak would be developed into a cultural attraction that can generate income for local people.

The research project under Wilaiwan's supervision has received grants and support from the United Nations, EarthWatch, and the National Research Council of Thailand.

"We have also won cooperation from the Fine Arts Department," she said.

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