Three decades ago it could be said with presumed certainty that the Thais originated in the southern part of what is now China about 4,500 years ago.
Recently, however, this theory has been altered by the discovery of prehistoric artifacts in the village of Ban Chiang in the Nong Han District of Udon Thani province in the Northeast.
The controversy over the origin of the Thais shows no sign of definite conclusion as many more theories have been put forward and some even go further to say that Thais were originally of Austronesian rather than Mongoloid.
What the outcomes of the dispute may be, by the 13th century the Thais had already settled down within the southeast Asia.
Copper was the first metal to be worked by man on a relatively large scale in part because it is found in "large pure ingots in a natural state" in many different locations around the world.
Copper was being fashioned into implements and gold was being fashioned into ornaments about 6,000 years ago, 3,000 years before the Greeks and Roman empires.
"Copper Age and Neolithic societies are always described as egalitarian, or as less complex," says German Archaeological Institute researcher Svend Hansen.
SYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: sedentary settlement, sedentary lifestyle CATEGORY: term DEFINITION: A way of life in which people remain settled in one place throughout the year; permanent settlement at one location.
It now appears that the Thais might have originated here in Thailand and later scattered to various parts of Asia, including China.Since the collapse of communism in 1989 opened doors for western scholars in countries including Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine, a new appreciation for the region's prehistory is taking hold. [Source: Andrew Curry, Archaeology, March/April 2011] "Far from being a historical footnote, Copper Age Europe was a technological and social proving ground.Archaeologists have found the earliest evidence of distinctions between rich and poor, rulers and the ruled.Conservative estimates of age from carbon-14 dating date the items to c. Though the process today varies from foundry to foundry, the steps used in casting small bronze sculptures are fairly standardized.(In modern industrial use, the process is called investment casting.) Variations of the process include: "lost mould", which recognizes that materials other than wax can be used (such as: tallow, resin, tar, and textile); Prior to silica-based casting moulds, these moulds were made of a variety of other fire-proof materials, the most common being plaster based, with added grout, and clay based. The methods used for small parts and jewellery vary somewhat from those used for sculpture.Investment (refractory plaster) is mixed and poured into the flask, filling it. Casting is usually done straight from the kiln either by centrifugal casting or vacuum casting.