Glass Beads from Archaeological Sites: Trade Relations between Southern and Foreign Countries Prior to the 14th Century A.D.


  • Naphakkhamon Thongfuea Doctoral student of Program in Archaeology, Faculty of Archaeology, Silpakorn University, and Archaeologist, Professional level at The 12th Regional Office of Fine Arts, Nakhon Si Thammarat. email: [email protected]


Glass Beads, Archaeological Sites in Southern Thailand, Ancient Trade Relations


Ancient glass beads are considered to be important archaeological artifacts. Glass beads have been found in quantity from surveys and excavations at several archaeological sites in Thailand. This article aims to study the physical characteristics and chemical properties of glass beads found in some archaeological sites of southern Thailand and dated to the 14th century A.D. or earlier. Samples of them were sent for analysis using the Wavelength Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (WD-XRF). Hypothetically, glass beads are regarded as indicators of trade relations between people of southern Thailand and other regions. The results reveal that physical characteristics and chemical components of glass beads found in the sites of southern Thailand closely resemble  those of India, China, and the Middle East. Furthermore, the same type of glass beads have been found at various archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. This indicates trade and cultural contact between people of southern Thailand and those of Southeast Asian and overseas communities of the East and the West during the first centuries BCE to the 13th century A.D.



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