Skip to main content
Ref ID: 36880
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Forestier, Hubert
Zhou, Yuduan
Auetrakulvit, Prasit
Khaokhiew, Chawalit
Li, Yinghua
Ji, Xueping
Zeitoun, Valéry
Title: Hoabinhian variability in mainland Southeast Asia revisited: the lithic assemblage of Moh Khiew Cave, southwestern Thailand
Date: 2021
Source: Archaeological Research in Asia
Notes: Article number 100236; available online December 2020
Abstract: The Hoabinhian has been a major topic in prehistoric research in Mainland Southeast Asia for nearly 90 years. However, its variability in terms of lithic assemblages is still poorly understood, as a limited number of sites have been analyzed from a technological perspective. This variability is to be expected, considering that the Hoabinhian covers a timespan of more than 30,000 years, a wide region extending from mountainous south-western China to insular Indonesia and diversified sub-tropical to tropical environments. In this research, we present the variability of Hoabinhian tools at the site of Moh Khiew Cave in Southern Thailand. Unlike other ‘typical’ Hoabinhian sites discovered in this region, the Hoabinhian lithic assemblage (~11,000–9000 BP) at Moh Khiew is dominated by unifacially shaped limaces and unifaces, on large/medium and thick flakes, and thus involves a mixed operational sequence (chaîne opératoire) of debitage and shaping methods. No classic sumatralith tools were found in the site, which are usually made on river cobbles and considered to be the hallmark of the Hoabinhian. Another exceptional tool type is the biface, made on shale slabs or blocks, other cutting tool types include chopper-chopping-tools and flake tools, etc. In view of the production methods of unifaces and limaces, their distinct volumetric structures, and the co-existence of unifaces with other shaped tool types; the Moh Khiew lithic assemblage is different from other Hoabinhian sites, and may represent a local variant of the Hoabinhian in this region of south-western Thailand.
Volume: 25