Welcome! These are the web pages of the Highland Archaeology Project in Pang Mapha District, Mae Hong Son Province , Phase Two. We're constantly adding new material and we hope that these pages will be a source of interesting and useful information about our project. We also hope it can be a place for an online community to discuss archaeology. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to add them to our web board or send us an email. This is a multi-disciplinary project that combines research in cultural and physical anthropology, archaeology and dendrochronology. The combination of these disciplines provides new information towards understanding the relationships between ancient human societies and their environments in the tropical forests.
This project has four main aims. 1. To understand the history of cultures that have lived in Pang Mapha from the earliest human inhabitants to recent times and understand how they have changed over time. 2. To understand the history of environmental change in Pang Mapha and how this tropical forest zone has changed over time. 3. To understand the relationships between changes in human cultures and changes in the environment in Pang Mapha. We are especially interested in how people living in the highlands adapted to climatic variation and change. 4. To understand the differences and similarities in the relationship between humans and their environments from ancient times to the present. The first phase of this research project collected such a large quantity of data that it was not possible to complete the project within the two years originally proposed. The second phase is a continuation of the first, focused on the analysis of data already collected and the integration of the multi-disciplinary work to answer the research questions. In the second phase we are also working on applying our understanding of the past to benefit local ommunities and the wider public. The seconds phase also includes two parallel sub-projects. One is an archaeological survey and Geographic Information System (GIS) project which will collect data to find patterns in the distribution of ancient sites. The other project is an ethno-archaeological study of highland groups in Pang Mapha. These two sub-projects help support the data collection for the HAPP. The two projects help train the research assistants who have been working the study area for four years already.
The results that we expect from these projects will provide new knowledge about archaeology, cultural anthropology, biology, forensics, dentistry, environmental science, geology, geography, forestry science, zoology and so on. Our results will be especially informative about the archaeology of the people that live in the Thai highlands. Currently we have a very limited understanding of these topics in this area because it is very remote. Moreover, the new body of knowledge is also an important database for understanding the current situation of the highlands and helping to improve the management and preservation of natural resources and the cultures of the local communities. This includes building a sense of pride and self-respect amongst the highland communities who have been marginalised and neglected by Thai society in the past.