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Hill of Prosperity: Excavations at Khok Charoen, Thailand

A Burial Site at the Stone-Metal Junction

Helmut Loofs-Wissowa
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Khok Charoen (Hill of Prosperity) is a neolithic burial ground in Central Thailand, excavated in the 1960s and 70s by the Thai-British Archaeological Expedition, but because of the substantial Australian contribution these excavations can rightly be called the first Australian venture into Southeast Asian archaeology.The site, dated to the latter half of the second and the beginning of the first millennium BC, consists of three cemeteries with a total of 65 burials, straddling a discontinuity caused by floods, which greatly disturbed these burials and their finds, which include 513 pots, but no bronze. The study of this pottery is the key to the understanding of the cultural and social history of the site, explaining killings and grave robberies within a divided society.The aim of this book is to present, with the help of a great number of illustrations, an overall picture of this site at the junction of Stone and Bronze. This book is a companion volume to The Pottery of Khok Charoen, Thailand by Helmut Loofs-Wissowa (2019).

Born 1927 in Halle, Germany, Dr Helmut Loofs-Wissowa was educated at Thomas School, Leipzig. After WWII and service in the French Army in Indochina as a war correspondent, he studied in Germany, France and Switzerland. He was appointed foundation Lecturer in Southeast Asian Civilisations at the Australian National University in 1961, and retired as Reader in 1992.

'To summarise, this book presents evidence, data and archaeological details that are interesting and important for creating an understanding of the social, economic and cultural development of people in Southeast Asia in the past in the New Stone Age prehistoric period and before metal technology entered Thailand and mainland Southeast Asia. And we have studies of the archaeological evidence in various ways which will help us see an image of the way of life of the original peoples in the prehistoric period of the New Stone Age, and the link between the New Stone Age and the Bronze Age. The reviewer suggests that this book is a book that archaeologists, historians, social scientists and interested persons generally will not want to miss'. Thanik Lertcharnrit, Journal of Anthropology, Year 1, No. 2 (July - December 2018)

‘Many foreign archaeologists have excavated prehistoric sites in Thailand, and too few have published a final report. It is, therefore, a rare pleasure to find that the excavations at Khok Charoen, that took place half a century ago, have now been described in this important volume…It is timely that this volume should appear in Helmut Loofs-Wissowa’s ninetieth year. He is a true pioneer of Southeast Asian prehistory.’ Charles Higham, Journal of the Siam Society, Vol. 106, 2018

Table of Contents (S2844_9781407315065_ToC.pdf, 293 Kb) [Download]