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Pongkasetkan, Pimchanok and Murphy, Stephen A (2012) 'Transitions from Late Prehistoric to Dvaravati Period Funerary Practices: New Evidence from Dong Mae Nang Muang, Central Thailand.' In: Tjoa-Bonatz, Mai Lin, Reinecke, Andreas and Bonatz, Dominik, (eds.), Crossing Borders: Selected Papers from the 13th International Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists, Volume 1. Singapore: NUS Press, pp. 75-89.

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This paper focuses on burial traditions in central and northeast Thailand, particularly on the 5th–12th centuries AD, and to a lesser extent on the transition from the Late Iron Age to the Dvaravati period. This discussion arises primarily from new archaeological evidence uncovered during excavations that took place between April to September 2009 at the Dong Mae Nang Muang site in Nakorn Sawan province, central Thailand. The discovery of 52 inhumations at the foundation levels of a Buddhist monument at this site is a rare documented phenomenon for this period. It illustrates a number of interesting points regarding not only the nature of mortuary practices, but also about the religious beliefs of the inhabitants of this site. It is a commonly held view that with the arrival of Buddhism in Thailand, funerary practices transitioned from inhumation and jar burials to the almost exclusive use of cremation. The evidence from Dong Mae Nang Muang acts to counter this perception and suggests that this was not always the case. This paper also discusses comparative evidence from the Pong Tuk and Si Sisatchanalai sites in central Thailand and Muang Fa Daed in northeast Thailand in order to illustrate the point that the tradition of inhumation burials continued to be practiced well into the Dvaravati period. These three further sites were selected as they provide the only other clear potential evidence for burials in association with Buddhist monuments at present.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Keywords: Southeast Asia, Archaeology, burials, Buddhism, Thailand, Dvaravati
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Arts
Departments and Subunits > School of Arts > Department of the History of Art & Archaeology
ISBN: 9789971696429
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2021 13:13
Funders: Other

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