Ban Chiang, Northeast Thailand, Volume 2B
Metals and Related Evidence from Ban Chiang, Ban Tong, Ban Phak Top, and Don Klang
by Joyce C. White, Elizabeth G. Hamilton
22 color, 135 b/w illus.
The foundation of archaeometallurgy is the study of excavated assemblages of metals and related remains. This volume presents in detail how the metals and such remains as crucibles excavated from four sites in northeast Thailand have been studied to understand the place of metal objects and technology in the ancient past of this region.
In addition to typological examination, hundreds of technical analyses reveal the technological capabilities, preferences, and styles of metal artifact manufacturers in this part of Thailand. Detailed examination of contexts of recovery of metal remains employing a "life history" approach indicates that metal objects in those societies were used primarily in daily life and, only occasionally, as grave goods. The most surprising find is that casting of copper-base artifacts to final form took place at all these village sites during the metal age period, indicating a decentralized final production stage that may prove to be unusual for metal age societies. These insights are made possible by applying the methods and theories introduced in the first volume of the suite of volumes that study the metal remains from Ban Chiang in regional contest.
Thai Archaeology Monograph Series, 2B
University Museum Monograph, 150
"The volumes are necessary reading by anyone with an interest in Southeast Asian metallurgy...[T]he volumes provide not only a detailed report of an important set of data from one of Southeast Asia's most significant sites, but also a synthetic review of what is known about prehistoric metalworking and use in the region."—Journal of Southeast Asian Studies
[A] true magnum opus....an exquisite examination of all aspects of the metalwork and metalworking remains discovered on four sites—Ban Chiang, Ban Tong, Ban Phak Top, and Don Klang—and all associated information required to understand the state and development of prehistoric bronzeworking and ironworking technologies in northeast Thailand within the context of Southeast Asian archaeology and archaeometallurgical studies more broadly. The reader obtains an in-depth knowledge not only of the excavated and analytical evidence of metalworking at the four sites within the larger regional context of northeast and central Thailand and Laos, but also the theoretical and methodological frameworks used to analyze these results and their ramifications within"—Journal of Anthropological Research
the larger societal contexts of Southeast Asia, as well as how future archaeologists can apply these results to their own research and conduct similar investigations.
"White and Hamilton's admirable work... [i]s the result of decades of research and heralds the maturity of a movement away from linear progressive and technologically determinist perspectives in archaeometallurgy. Their work employs and usefully documents the full range of concepts and methods characteristic of AoT in archaeological research, including sociotechnical systems, technical choices, technical styles, life histories, and chaînes opératoires. It situates the evidence under study within a breathtakingly broad context, including plate tectonics, metallography, manufacturing techniques, depositional contexts, mining and smelting sites, and exchange networks. Every chapter is meticulously documented to an extent that will make this work invaluable for practitioners and students alike for many years to come."—Advances in Archaeomaterials
"[T]he soon-to-be four-part publication provides detailed documentation and multifaceted analysis of the evidence for metal production at the sites of Ban Chiang, Ban Tong, Ban Phak Top, and Don Klang, as well as some suggestions on the regional context. Many of the series’ chapters, however, go far beyond what is needed to introduce the material or the analytical results, reviewing theories, suggesting new approaches and different points of view, and discussing principles and issues of archaeological research on technology more broadly. The volumes are thus of interest to a broader readership beyond scholars working in Southeast Asia or on early metallurgy in particular."—Current Anthropology