Poster Title

Examining the Prehistoric Record in Southeast Asia: Clay Pellets as an Indicator of Social Change

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Institution

Northern Kentucky University

KY House District #

66

KY Senate District #

11

Department

Sociology/Anthropology/Philosophy

Abstract

In the wildly overlooked region of Southeast Asia lies a wealth of archeological data depicting the society’s antiquity and culture. Only recently unearthed, the research conducted in this area suggests discrepancies concerning the fundamental understanding of the region’s prehistory and archeological record, and the evidence observed through this project intends to enlighten researchers of the potential anthropogenic and environmental changes occurring. The focal point for the investigation was clay pellets found in northeast Thailand. Developed during prehistory and continued as a modern day practice, these marble-sized artifacts were used in accompaniment with a bow to hunt for small game, such as lizards and birds, which provided a source of sustenance for the society. Archeometric analysis was conducted on these artifacts, and the clay pellets were also examined in their stratigraphic contexts to determine whether the variance in the clay or temper additives changed diachronically during the occupation of the site. As a tangential observation, clay pellets from other areas of Southeast Asia were compared to those found in northeastern Thailand, which discloses information concerning similar processes as well as cultural changes. The interpretation of the results allows for a better understanding of the region’s past and sheds light on this region of Southeast Asia.

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Examining the Prehistoric Record in Southeast Asia: Clay Pellets as an Indicator of Social Change

In the wildly overlooked region of Southeast Asia lies a wealth of archeological data depicting the society’s antiquity and culture. Only recently unearthed, the research conducted in this area suggests discrepancies concerning the fundamental understanding of the region’s prehistory and archeological record, and the evidence observed through this project intends to enlighten researchers of the potential anthropogenic and environmental changes occurring. The focal point for the investigation was clay pellets found in northeast Thailand. Developed during prehistory and continued as a modern day practice, these marble-sized artifacts were used in accompaniment with a bow to hunt for small game, such as lizards and birds, which provided a source of sustenance for the society. Archeometric analysis was conducted on these artifacts, and the clay pellets were also examined in their stratigraphic contexts to determine whether the variance in the clay or temper additives changed diachronically during the occupation of the site. As a tangential observation, clay pellets from other areas of Southeast Asia were compared to those found in northeastern Thailand, which discloses information concerning similar processes as well as cultural changes. The interpretation of the results allows for a better understanding of the region’s past and sheds light on this region of Southeast Asia.