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Spatial Analysis of the Dharmacakras Distribution Associated with the Dvāravatī Period, Thailand

Author(s): Areerut Patnukao

Year: 2016

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Summary

Dvāravatī (spanning late 6th– 11th centuries C.E.) is one of the oldest religious cultures and artistic periods of Thailand and Southeast Asia. Dvāravatī history cannot be written due to a lack of epigraphic evidence or chronicle. Its center, geographical extent, and political organization remain unclear. The archaeological and geographical evidence suggests that moated sites were associated with the emergence of Dvāravatī civilization. Among Dvāravatī style artifacts found within these sites, stone Dharmacakra (the Buddhist Wheel of the Law/ the Wheel of Dharma) represents the most comprehensive surviving evidence for early Buddhism in Thailand. Besides India, Dharmacakras were only found in Dvāravatī culture. Local environmental constraints suggest that these Dharmacakras mainly found only at major Dvāravatī sites. This ongoing work focuses on the investigation of the problems and possibilities for Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis in the Dvāravatī archaeology through archaeological survey and archives, as well as spatial analysis. The objectives are to examine a correlation between intensification of Dharmacakras and the sizes or numbers of Dvāravatī’s sites, to analyze different Dharmacakras’ artworks and their spatial locations, and to focus on the functions of Dharmacakras whether they were served as symbols of the regional centers or indicated the kingdom margin.


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Spatial Analysis of the Dharmacakras Distribution Associated with the Dvāravatī Period, Thailand. Areerut Patnukao. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404751)


Keywords


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