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Thesis - Campus Access Only
Master of Arts (MA)
Archaeology, Environment, Khao Toh Chong Rockshelter, Krabi, Prehistory, Thailand
Archaeology; Paleoecology; Asian studies
Environmental archaeology is a holistic approach to understanding human environmental intervention. This study examines a late-Pleistocene-to-Holocene archaeological rockshelter site in the Thai-Malay Peninsula, known as Khao Toh Chong Rockshelter (KTC). A mixed-method approach is applied to investigate human behavioral adaptation to a changing climate in the tropical environment of Peninsular Thailand. The changing subsistence regime at KTC describes the shift from hunting-gathering and foraging to opportunistic horticulture. The archaeological and multi-disciplinary methodologies utilized in this research include geoarchaeological sedimentary science, zooarchaeological analysis of faunal remains, and paleobotanical study of deposits of the stratigraphy of the rockshelter site.
The environmental archaeological study of KTC indicated that the hunter-gatherer and foraging groups that occupied the site exploited a wider array of fauna during the mid-Holocene (increasing diet breadth). The geoscience results of this research provided details about shifting from C4 to C3 photosynthetic plant ratios during the Holocene, which indicates that more fruiting plants were available during this time. The low pollen yield indicated poor organic preservation, whereas sedimentary analysis illustrated clay-rich deposits that were beneficial for material-culture preservation. Human environmental intervention at the rockshelter indicates that people began moving away from a hunter-gatherer and foraging lifestyle to a more sustainable practice of resource consumption during the mid-Holocene.
Van Vlack, Hannah Grace, "Forager Subsistence Regimes in the Thai-Malay Peninsula: An Environmental Archaeological Case Study of Khao Toh Chong Rockshelter, Krabi" (2014). Master's Theses. 4484.