The long period spanning the Neolithic to the Metal Age is still poorly understood in the Thai-Malay peninsula (TMP), and current interpretations rely on limited data from a large region and a few dates obtained mainly from inland cave sites. There has yet to be any published research on estuarine and coastal contexts for this period. In 2017 The French Archaeological Mission in Peninsular Thailand carried out an excavation at Wang Duan, near Prachuap Khiri Kan on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand, in order to start to fill this gap and to investigate coastal groups in the upper part of the TMP. The aim of the investigation was to study the evolution of coastal groups in relation to their involvement in exchange networks both along and across the TMP. The investigations identified traces of coastal and estuarine occupation characterized by ceramics of slightly different types and by the notable absence of human or animal bones. Occupation of these scattered sites took place during a prehistoric period that roughly corresponds to the early and late Neolithic period (corresponding elsewhere in Mainland Southeast Asia to the Bronze Age). The evolution of the ceramics and parallels with other assemblages in Thailand suggest contact during the first part of the first millennium BCE, and engagement in regional networks. This engagement appears to have led to changes in culinary (and possibly also funerary) practices in the area.
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