Highland Pang Mapha, a borderland between Thailand and Myanmar, has been known by scientists for a long time as a natural laboratory for a very rich biodiversity of seasonal tropical environments. However, the area has remained marginal and unknown for Thai archaeology until 1998. The Highland Archaeology in Pang Mapha Project is the first systematic archaeological research conducted in the seasonal tropical highland area. This research is a long term multi-disciplinary research addressing a series of general issues concerning the evolution of social organization and the nature of culture change in the seasonal tropical environments.
Recent research has revealed remarkable new data on the late- and post-Pleistocene environments, subsistence and settlement patterns, and cultural continuities of the region. Two excavated rockshelter sites, Tham Lod and Ban Rai, are representative of the regional chronology. The result of this research directly makes a significant contribution toward a better understanding of the interrelationship of prehistoric societies and seasonal tropical environments and expands our knowledge of late- and post-Pleistocene archaeology in Thailand and Southeast Asia, as well as the world.
Rasmi Shoocongdej, Silpakorn University of Thailand