Satun’s Khao Khom cave recognised as new prehistoric site

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Photo courtesy of The Wildlife Diaries

The Fine Arts Department of Thailand has officially recognised Khao Khom cave in Satun province as a new prehistoric archaeological site, revealing that the cave’s discoveries could date back as far as 6,000 years.

Fine Arts Department Director-General Phanombut Chantarachot confirmed that a recent study was conducted on human skeletons and pottery remains found in the cave. This preliminary research suggests that Khao Khom dates back to the Neolithic period, approximately 3,000 to 6,000 years ago.

The findings are based on a comparative analysis with a previous study of the Pa Toh Ro cliff shelter in Khuan Don district, another archaeological site in Satun, where prehistoric skeletons were discovered in 2010.

Phanombut highlighted that archaeological efforts in Satun have uncovered numerous signs of ancient human habitation. To date, at least 46 archaeological sites have been identified in the province. Authorities are currently compiling information to announce a comprehensive list of these sites.

A team led by Kamponsak Sassadee, a renowned spelunker, surveyed Khao Khom cave on May 15. The cave, located on the south side of a limestone mountain behind Satun College of Agriculture and Technology, revealed fragments of human skeletons, ancient pottery, and tools scattered inside, reported Bangkok Post.

The cave’s natural features, such as light shaft holes in the main hall, water sources from mountain streams, and abundant fish and shrimp, suggest it was likely a shelter for Stone Age humans, Kamponsak said.

“The discovery will benefit the Fine Art Department’s future academic works regarding these matters.”

ORIGINAL STORY: Ancient human remains and tools found in Satun’s Khao Khom Cave

Human remains and ancient tools, estimated to date back over 10,000 years, have been unearthed inside Khao Khom Cave in Satun’s Khuan Kalong district.

This discovery emerged from a project spearheaded by Kamponsak Sassadee, a renowned cave explorer, who aimed to delve into one of the province’s longest and most ecologically diverse caves.

Kamponsak’s team initially discovered signs of ancient human activity near the cave’s entrance. These preliminary surveys unearthed skeletal fragments, including jawbones and nearly intact lower molars, buried beneath piles of shells.

Kamponsak suggested that over ten bodies might be buried at the site, hinting it could have served as an ancient cemetery.

“The more we dug, the more human remains we found.”

Further explorations led to the discovery of ancient tools scattered throughout the cave’s main hall. The cave itself, featuring natural lighting from light shaft holes, water sources from mountain streams, and food from fish and shrimp, appears to have been a Stone Age shelter for humans, dating back at least 10,000 years.

Kamponsak mentioned that the full length of the cave remains undetermined, though it has proven to be much longer than initially expected. Yesterday, Kamponsak led a team, including lecturers from Satun College of Agriculture and Technology, representatives from the provincial Tourism Authority Office, and members of the media, on a visit to the cave, reported Bangkok Post.

“We have contacted the Fine Arts Department to examine the discovery.”

Nartchai Tuentim, a lecturer from Satun College of Agriculture and Technology, reported that the college had fenced off the area to prevent locals, who often visit for water supplies, from disturbing the site.

South Thailand NewsThailand News

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