Environmental fluctuation in Neolithic coastal central Thailand: a human story

Author(s): Chin-hsin Liu

Year: 2016


As a continuously occupied Neolithic (~2,000-1,500 B.C.) site in coastal central Thailand, Khok Phanom Di yielded abundant artifacts and biological remains providing detailed insights to its environmental patterns and human biology. Core studies and faunal diversity analyses suggested the existence of an episode of receding coastal margin between 1,750 and 1,650 B.C., exposing marsh and freshwater areas that were previously inaccessible. The transition from a marine/estuarine site to a lacustrine-based environment was associated with a suite of technical and demographic changes that shaped our understanding of human history in Southeast Asia. This study investigates how human diet was impacted by the environmental fluctuation, using carbon and nitrogen stable isotope signals from bone collagen. Valid data from 26 skeletal individuals demonstrate that for those buried during the lacustrine period, a change of protein sources from mainly marine-based to a wider spectrum terrestrial-marine mix is evident while no marked change occurred to the marine protein sources. This pattern is attributable to easier access to the interior terrestrial resources during the lacustrine phase and the continuous exploitation of near-shore shellfish throughout the occupation. The isotopic data are placed in the osteological and archaeological contexts to articulate a nuanced lifeway of the people.

Cite this Record

Environmental fluctuation in Neolithic coastal central Thailand: a human story. Chin-hsin Liu. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405152)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Spatial Coverage

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