Caves in peninsular Thailand have a complex history of human use ranging from brief campsites to long-term occupation and from locations of industrial activity to landscapes inhabited by spirit forces. In late Pleistocene times, dating from before than 40,000 B.P. to about 11,000 B.P., caves were used only sporadically as temporary campsites, where people built fires, fashioned tools, and consumed the meals of animal (and presumably plant) products. During early Holocene times, dating from before 11,000 B.P. to about 6500 B.P., many caves were occupied for sufficient duration to have built up sizable midden deposits, occasionally over 1 m thick. Some of these deposits also include burials, usually of single randomly placed individuals with few, if any, grave goods. During mid Holocene times, ca. 6500-3500 B.P., some caves were used as burial grounds, with little if any trace of occupation, whereas others were scenes of domestic activity. Mid Holocene and recent times also saw the use of cave walls as media for paintings, with depictions, often crude, of whole or parts of human figures, fish, birds, and land animals.


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pp. 137-153
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