Program Description Thailand has a rich and vibrant history. It is home to one of the world's earliest Bronze Age cultures, as well as walled cities and elaborate Buddhist temples from more recent times. One of the few Southeast Asian countries never colonized by the West, its culture has flourished with little outside interference. Today, Thailand is a thriving Southeast Asian nation with an excellent cuisine, friendly people, and incredible natural beauty. Students participating in the program will learn about the prehistory of Thailand while excavating and analyzing archaeological and skeletal materials from the Iron Age site of Promtin Tai (ca. 2000 – 2500 BP). Students will also have the opportunity to visit magnificent Buddhist temples in Bangkok, to explore the old capital city of either Ayutthaya or Sukhothai, and to take a wildlife tour of Khao Yai National Park, home to wild elephants, gibbons, monkeys, and a wide variety of colorful birds.
Location The program will begin in Bangkok, Thailand where we will spend the first two days recovering from jetlag, acquiring cell phones, and getting acquainted with Thai food and culture. Students will also have some free time to visit temples or other tourist sites. Primary program activities will take place in the Lopburi Province of Thailand, approximately three hours north of Bangkok by train. Students and faculty will stay in the city of Lopburi, and excavations and lab work will take place about 20 km (12 miles) away at the site of Promtin Tai. The city of Lopburi is home to approximately 60,000 people, and offers most of the modern conveniences available in Bangkok. The city is not a major tourist destination, so there is greater opportunity to interact with locals and experience a more authentic expression of Thai culture.
Students will enroll in two 3-credit anthropology courses. One of these courses (ANT 389) satisfies a methods requirement in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology’s general anthropology (ANY) major. The other (ANT 495) may be used as a 400-level elective course in the major, or as a general elective. Graduate students can sign up for a 500-level version of the ANT 495 course.
ANT 389:Fundamentals of Archaeological Research
This course is an overview of the objectives, field strategies, basics of laboratory analysis, and interpretative approaches that archaeologists use in their analysis of the archaeological record. The course will include a substantial practicum component in which students will learn how to properly excavate a site and document the results of their excavation work. The course will give students a good understanding of how archaeologists analyze, use, and interpret archaeological data.
ANT 495/595:Bioarchaeological Fieldwork
This course is an overview of the laboratory analyses and interpretive approaches used by bioarchaeologists to document and study human remains from archaeological cemeteries. This course will include a substantial practicum component in which students will learn how to prepare skeletal material for analysis, how to identify and side fragmentary bones, and how to analyze skeletal remains to answer questions of bioarchaeological interest. The course includes sections on both field osteology and dental analysis. This course will provide an understanding of how bioarchaeologists proceed from excavation of osteological remains to analysis and interpretation.
Students on the program should have already taken ANT 421 Human Osteology or an equivalent course. The Bioarchaeological Fieldwork course assumes that students have learned how to identify and side nearly all of the 206 bones of the human skeleton.
The Director will notify students of the required arrival date and a range of times during which their flights should be scheduled to arrive at Bangkok International Airport. Each student must make their own flight arrangements.
The cost of air travel is not included in the Study Abroad program cost. Students accepted into the program are strongly encouraged to book flights as early as possible. Most flights from the US arrive in Bangkok in the late evening. Students will be met at the airport by the Director if their flights arrive within a pre-arranged timespan (usually 9 PM to Midnight).
Students and the program directors will be housed at the Lopburi Inn. This hotel is located in the new part of Lopburi city, near one of the main roads through town. Students will share rooms (two students per room). Hotel facilities include in-room air conditioning, telephone, shower, and small refrigerator. Wireless internet is also available for a fee.
Breakfast (Continental or American) will be provided each morning by the hotel. During excavation days, lunch will be authentic Thai food, prepared at the site by a Thai cook. Students will be responsible for their own dinners. The hotel has a dining room, and the city has many restaurants (a few of which you will recognize from home) as well as at least two western-style grocery stores.
Excursions & Travel Opportunities:
The following is a tentative itinerary of planned activities and excursions:
May 20: Students arrive in Bangkok
May 21: Purchase phones and sightsee in Bangkok
May 22:Move to Lopburi
May 23: Excavation Begins
May 28:Free Day
June 4 - 6:Ayutthaya or Sukhothai Trip
June 11 - 13:Khao Yai Trip
June 18:Free Day
June 24:Return to Bangkok, Field School ends at 5 PM
Financial aid is generally available to help qualified NC State students meet the expenses of NC State Study Abroad programs. Students from other institutions should contact their home institution study abroad and financial aid offices for information. For additional funding, NC State students should consider applying for a study abroad scholarship from the Study Abroad Office.
The Thailand Archaeological Field School program is led by NC State faculty member Dr. Troy Case from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. For further information please contact:
The University reserves the right to alter the program format and/or costs in case of conditions beyond its control. If the program is canceled or a student withdraws, a refund of program costs may not be available in all cases. Please refer to the Study Abroad Office Refund Policy for details. Contact us at: email@example.com.
Dates / Deadlines:
The are currently no active application cycles for this program.