The Evidence of Maritime Trade and Beginning of a Historical Period in Thailand

The evidence more than 2,000 years old has been discovered by archaeologist shows that ancient people who used to live in Thailand had trading contact with communities further in the west and the east. Until the local people adopted religion and beliefs from India and blended with their traditional beliefs, then evidence has been found of inscribe religious and social stories since the 7th century onwards, stated that it is the beginning of the history of Thailand.

Ancient shipwrecks and antiquities were found in Thailand shows important evidence of maritime trade between the local ancient port and distance ancient ports in the Middle East, South India, Southeast Asia, and the South China Sea. Those important ancient ship wrecks are Pak Klung Kluay shipwreck, Ranong Province, and estimated as 2,120-2,140 years old. Followed by Klong Thom boat wreck, Krabi Province, its age was estimated about 1,800 years ago. The wreck of the Ban Khlong Yuan boat Surat Thani Province, the age was estimated about 1,200 years ago and the wreck of the Phanom Surin ship, Samut Sakhon Province, its age was determined to be about 1,200 years ago. All were scientifically determined from wood of all boats. The above mentioned evidence shows that during this period, there are many people's connections, variety of ethnicities and beliefs both from the west coast and the east coast have passed or stopped at the ancient port in Thailand There was a cultural exchange between each other, leading to development of a city, a province, a state and a country as present.

Mr. Wasan Thepsuriyanont graduated with a bachelor’s degree, majoring in Archaeology from Silpakorn University, Thailand. He then completed a master’s degree in community development at Thammasart University. He started his career as an archaeologist at the Fine Arts Department of the government of Thailand's Ministry of Culture in 1997, and is now the Director of the Underwater Archaeology Division. Wassan has experience working on prehistoric and historic archaeological sites throughout Thailand. His current research focuses on maritime trade and its impacts on social development.