Preservation of Thailand’s national treasure of “Ban Chiang”
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Ban Chiang, a Sub-district in the Nong Han District of Udon Thani Province in northeast Thailand, is considered the most important prehistoric settlement so far discovered in South-East Asia. It marks an important stage in human cultural, social and technological evolution. The site presents the earliest evidence of farming in the region and of the manufacture and use of metals.
Discovered in 1966, Ban Chiang Archaeological Site has since been extensively excavated and its remains studied by Thai and international scholars until today. The site has been dated by scientific chronometric means which have established that the site was continuously occupied from 1495 BC until 900 BC (or around 3,000-3,500 years ago), making it the earliest scientifically-dated prehistoric farming and habitation site in Southeast Asia known at the time of inscription onto the UNESCO’s “World Heritage List”.
Ban Chiang civilization is therefore one of Thailand’s most proud national treasures.
Recently, an Embassy team had a chance to visit “Khun Joyce”, Dr. Joyce White who is a longtime Director of Ban Chiang Project at Penn Museum and Institute for Southeast Asian Archeology (ISEAA) Executive Director, at her residence where she kindly rendered her unmatched expertise and assistance in authentication of possible artifacts of Ban Chiang before these artifacts are sent to Thailand’s Fine Art Department for further analysis and authentication.
Dr. White has also expressed her willingness to work closely with the Royal Thai Embassy to help preserve Thailand’s national treasure of Ban Chiang.