Friday, August 14, 2020

Wrong date given for prehistoric Ban Chiang

Sep 30. 2018
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Re: “Special talk and seminars on the archaeology of Ban Chiang to commemorate 185 years of Thai-US diplomatic relations”, September 27, Foreign Ministry advertorial. 

Your issue of September 27 included a report on a lecture delivered by Dr JC White on the archaeological site of Ban Chiang that contained two errors. It stated that Dr White was a member of the excavation team at Ban Chiang in 1974-5. I was, but she was not. 

It also states that Ban Chiang was the centre of a Stone Age civilisation at around 5,000BC. As your article rightly notes, HM King Bhumibol asked during his visit to Ban Chiang if the human bones had been dated, and hearing that they had not, encouraged that this should be done. I have radiocarbon-dated the human bones from Ban Chiang. The earliest is about 1,500BC, not 5,000BC as stated.

Charles Higham

Research professor, University of Otago, New Zealand

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