Regarding the jade and jade-like artefacts unearthed om Khao Sam Kaeo, new research has explored the use of diﬀerent raw materials and relations with inter-regional trade networks. Geochemical analysis oﬀers a way to identify the geological sources of the stone materials, poten- tially involving long-distance movements. In conjunction with those ﬁndings, studies of workshop debris provide information about how the artefacts were produced and how the evident craing styles may have been linked across the regions of Mainland and Island Southeast Asia. Local cra production is evident in workshop debris at the site. e unearthed artefacts include complete objects and related worked agments such as drilled-out cores, cut square blanks, and small cut agments. Most of these materials were used for manufacturing ornaments such as the lingling-o penannular earrings, the double animal-headed ear pendants, bracelets, and pendants. In order to learn the geological sources of the green stones used to make these ornaments at Khao Sam Kaeo, 28 artefacts were examined through a series of non-invasive analyses by a low-vacuum scanning electron microscope ( LVSEM ) equipped with an energy dispersive X-ray ( EDS ) spectrometer. e results show those objects and worked agments can be grouped into three major categories of nephrite jade (17 samples), green mica (8 samples), and quartzite (2 samples). e geological sources included nephrite om Taiwan, mica om the Philippines, and quartzite om an unknown source. Among 17 specimens of nephrite, 12 of them are comparable to the Fengtian nephrite source in Eastern Taiwan. However, another 5 nephrite specimens were too weathered to analyze for making a ﬁnal conclusion of their geological source. In addition to the nephrite om Taiwan, some of the artefacts were made of mica similar in chemistry to that om Mindoro Island in the Philippines. Khao Sam Keo became the ﬁrst prehistoric jewellery workshop in Southeast Asia with a signiﬁcant amount of mica-ornament production. Moreover, quartzite was used to produce a bracelet here.is study indicates that the stone jewellery production at Khao Sam Kaeo can be situated in a larger regional network or perhaps a number of such networks. Multiple overseas sources are evident in the raw materials. Additionally, the similar production method and ornament style of jade and mica link these ﬁndings to the contemporaneous traditions as documented at production sites distributed all around the South China Sea, such as in Southern Taiwan, the Philippines, and Southern Vietnam. Based on the new ﬁndings, two hypotheses are developed about the origins of the responsible crasmen and production techniques. e ﬁrst hypothesis proposes diﬀerent backgrounds in ori- gin or training for the crasmen of jade versus the crasmen of mica objects. Each group owned the raw materials or could access the raw material. For nephrite, perhaps a group of specialised crasmen om Eastern Taiwan, Southern Vietnam, or the Philippines migrated into Khao Sam Kaeo. e second hypothesis proposes that local crasmen at Khao Sam Kaeo knew the necessary skills for nephrite and mica production om other regions, but several points remain uncertain, such as how the skills were learned and how people obtained the raw materials om overseas. According to the archaeological ﬁndings at Khao Sam Kaeo, the site was strongly connected in extensive maritime trade networks, linking with Taiwan, the Philippines, Borneo, coastal Southern Vietnam, Cambodia, and beyond at approximately 400 through 100 BC. Future studies will be needed to understand how those overseas raw materials, techniques, and perhaps crasmen reached to Khao Sam Kaeo.
|Title of host publication
|Khao Sam Kaeo: An Early Port-City between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea
|Place of Publication
|Ecole francaise d'extreme orient
|Published - 2017