The development of copper alloy metallurgy in Thailand in the pre-Buddhist period, with special reference to high-tin bronzes
This thesis contains the results of a project designed to investigate the development of copper alloy metallurgy in Thailand from the earliest times down to the beginning of the historical period. Excavated material was obtained from a number of archaeological sites in Thailand, in particular Non Nok Ta, Ban Don Ta Phet and Ban Na Di. Most of this material is well provenanced and can be dated with reasonable accuracy. Chemical analysis of 276 artifacts was carried out using Atomic Absorption or Induction Coupled Plasma spectroscopy, with phase analysis being carried out using the electron microprobe. In addition, a large proportion of the objects (127) was sectioned and examined using the techniques of optical metallography. From the information that was obtained, it has been possible to build up a picture of the technology of different classes of artifacts, the particular alloy used for each, and regional and chronological variations. In addition, a considerable amount has been learned of the class of alloy known as β-tin bronzes, which appear to have been used first in Thailand and to a limited extent in other Asian countries up to the medieval period. Information of fundamental interest regarding these alloys was obtained.