Glocal Histories: Agency and Identity in Northeast Thailand Understood Through Dvaravati Influences at Ban Non Wat and Non Ban Jak

James Cook University, Australia

This preliminary study considers the idea of Dvaravati influences in pottery manufacture at the sites of Ban Non Wat (BNW) and Non Ban Jak (NBJ), on the Khorat Plateau in NE Thailand. The study provided site specific information about technical connection and cultural spread in NE Thailand during the proto-historic period through analysis of the pottery. Methods consisted of a rim form study and petrographic analysis. Styles and profiles were based on Indrawooth’s 1985 Index of Dvaravati Pottery and the petrographic results were compared with Aussavamas’s 2011 study. The results suggest a gradual change in the pottery assemblage that likely reflects a settled community that adopted Dvaravati technologies and adapted them to suit their own specific needs at BNW and NBJ – an example of ‘Glocalisation’ – rather than the arrival of Dvaravati people themselves in the region. The initial evidence suggests influences in pottery manufacture were evident on both sites, but the way the Dvaravati technology was taken up varied considerably across NE Thailand. At BNW, for example, there is evidence that Dvaravati technologies were augmented by higher firing techniques possibly of Cambodian (pre-Angkorian) origin – an observation that is of particular interest and deserves further attention. Thus, evidence suggests a staggered entry into the proto-historic period with a diverse range of local adaptions occurring in different locales. The type of pottery manufacture observed in NE Thailand might be unique to the region, and this research recommends that the local (broadly named) ‘Dvaravati’ pottery be renamed as Upper Mun River Dvaravati Earthenware. It is possible that with further research additional pottery subdivisions based on geographic and temporal variation will be required to further help us pinpoint cultural influences.