Ban Chiang - Bronze Age Discovery in Northeastern Thailand
". . .without question the most important prehistoric settlement so far discovered in southeast Asia."
". . .the Centre of a remarkable phenomenon of human cultural, social, and technological evolution. . ." source: University of Pennsylvania.
As many things in life, the revelation of Ban Chiang started as a accident. In 1966 Steven Young was wandering around a small village in Northeastern Thailand when he tripped on a tree root and fell. On the ground he saw rings, which turned out to be pottery shards. Further investigation revealed more fragments which had been revealed by gradual erosion.
The Fine Arts Department of Thailand teamed with the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology to begin the excavation of the site. Major excavations in 1974 and 1975 turned up the evidence that made anthropologists rethink the development of human civilization in Southeast Asia.
Ban Chiang makes a nice day trip from Udorn Thani. A museum has tools, pottery, artifacts and human skeleton on display. Spend some time looking over the site and then take a walk around the village.
The discovery has commercialized Ban Chiang somewhat, but it is still a very pleasant part of rural Thailand.