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Khao Toh Chong Rockshelter, Krabi: A reflection on human behavioral adaptations driven by environmental change during prehistory

Author(s): Hannah Van Vlack

Year: 2015

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Summary

Human behavioral adaptation to environmental change (i.e., sea level rise, monsoonal events) in Southern Thailand is an area of archaeology that has not yielded much study due to the preservation issues or sampling techniques. In a case study approach, geoscience and archaeological methods were utilized to trace environmental and cultural shifts at a rockshelter site occupied throughout the late-Pleistocene and Holocene. Results from this case study begin to answer questions about the foraging strategies employed by hunter-gatherer populations who occupied Khao Toh Chong Rockshelter (KTC). The eco-artifacts preserved at KTC reveal continuous occupation at the site and nuances of environmental and cultural change. Shifting foraging patterns, informed by the zooarchaeological remains deposited at KTC, marks cultural change at the site. Shifts in stable carbon isotopic ratios indicate that flowering plants were more available during the Holocene, when foraging practices shifted. Paleobotanical data suggests poor soil condition, and the need for further analyses of the phytolith assemblage. The articulation of these data sets suggest that foragers strategized hunting and gathering around the availability of riparian resources in the estuary, an indication that the transition into wet-rice cultivation was a natural transition possibly adapted from experiential knowledge of the estuary environment.

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Khao Toh Chong Rockshelter, Krabi: A reflection on human behavioral adaptations driven by environmental change during prehistory. Hannah Van Vlack. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396689)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America