Illustrating the Splatt Theory

From Expedition magazine Volume 37, Number 2 Summer 1995
Art and Artists of the Ban Chiang Project

Making sense of the remains of daily life is a particular challenge for a site like Ban Chiang. No intact houses were excavated, almost no activity areas were found. Instead, the remains of daily life consisted mostly of holes–probably for houses built on stilts. Spreads of small pottery sherds, animal bone, and other discarded artifacts were probably refuse “kicked around” on the ground.

Artifacts from daily living were most likely used on the raised house floors. Refuse was swept off the porches onto the ground below while chickens and pigs wandered about under the houses. Pottery might also have reached the ground by accidently falling off the raised floor (hence our “Splatt” Theory). Once on the ground, the artifacts may have been further kicked about by humans and animals, coming to rest in a chaotic pattern.
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