|About the Book|
The authors interweave text and colour illustrations to trace the development of early Thai societies. They show how the early hunter-gatherers of the inland forest and the coastal waters came into contact with the first rice farmers, who expanded south from the middle Yangzi Valley, bringing with them the early Mon language. It was in these village communities, such as Ban Chiang, that the first bronzes were cast. New research into the copper mining area and in Bronze Age cemetries provides an understanding of how bronze was used and how it influenced prehistoric societies. A major change took place in Thailand from about 500 BC, when iron came into use. Chiefdoms developed and trade opened up to ideas and goods from India and China. It was these Iron Age chiefs who laid the foundations for the civilization of Angkor and Dvaravati states which contribute to the origins of the modern kingdoms of Thailand.