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The Bronze Age Mortuary Vessels of Ban Non Wat

From: Asian Perspectives
Volume 50, Number 1-2, Spring/Fall 2011
pp. 91-106 | 10.1353/asi.2011.0002

Abstract

Abstract:

This article analyzes the evidence for the beginnings of social differentiation in the Bronze Age site of Ban Non Wat in Northeast Thailand through the analysis of Bronze Age burials and the artifacts associated with those interments, with special emphasis paid to ceramic vessels. Vessel form, decoration, location, and associated artifacts were the primary bases for the analyses. Statistical, numerical, and spatial analyses were performed to gain a fuller understanding of the social basis for burial practices and to examine the implications of interment practices for inferring social structures at Ban Non Wat. A seriation chronology was developed based on vessel forms and their relative frequencies in various burial contexts in order to determine the temporal implications of various patterns of interments. The results showed that there were distinct changes in the mortuary practices across the Bronze Age, with early burials being spread around the site and having a large number and wide variety of artifacts, which then slowly developed into a tradition of burials with fewer artifacts in more localized areas. Over this time period, the occurrences of bronze artifacts decreased, and there was a change in the forms of associated pottery found. There also appear to have been specific forms of pots that are associated with burials that had large numbers of interred artifacts, or are found with bronze goods.



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