Ban Chiang Skeletal Data Files

Pietrusewsky, Michael and Michele T. Douglas
2002 Ban Chiang, a Prehistoric Site in Northeast Thailand I: The Human Skeletal Remains. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

 The inaugural volume in the Thai Archaeology Monograph Series describes in detail the human skeletal remains from Ban Chiang in northeast Thailand. The skeletal material spans a period from 2100 B.C. to A.D. 200 and includes pre-metal, bronze age, and iron age deposits from a series of prehistoric societies.
     The volume includes detailed summaries of metric and non-metric variation recorded in teeth, skulls, and the rest of the skeleton, and evidence of disease of the Ban Chiang people. These data are used to examine a number of questions. Where did the people of Ban Chiang come from? Did more intensified agriculture influence the health of the people? How do the people of Ban Chiang compare to the inhabitants of other ancient sites in Thailand and to the modern peoples of Thailand and neighboring regions?
     Contrary to other groups experiencing similar transitions elsewhere in the world no clear evidence for a decline in health over time is noted in the Ban Chiang skeletal series, suggesting continuity in a broad-based subsistence strategy even in the face of intensifying agriculture. The skeletal evidence further suggests a rigorous physical lifestyle with little evidence for infectious disease or interpersonal violence.

     Published studies using the copyrighted Ban Chiang skeletal data should reference it as “Appendix E, Databases E1-E12, (web ver 1.1 at,” in Ban Chiang, a Prehistoric Village Site in Northeast Thailand I: The Human Skeletal Remains by Michael Pietrusewsky and Michele Toomay Douglas. Thai Archaeology Monograph Series Volume 1. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology: Philadelphia. 2002.

The data files

The twelve databases listed below contain metric and non-metric observations by individual burial excavated from the BC (1974 excavation) and BCES (1975 excavation) locales at Ban Chiang, Thailand. The databases are in three formats, Microsoft Access 2003 (.mdb), Access 2007 (.accdb) and comma-delimited text files. Users should be able to import one of these formats into most major spreadsheet, database, or statistical analysis software packages.

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E1 Cranial Measurements, Indices, and Capacities
E2 Mandibular Measurements and Indices
E3 Cranial Non-metric Variation
E4 Measurements of Permanent Dentition
E5a Dental Non-metric Observations in Permanent Dentition
E5b Pathological Conditions in Permanent Dentition
E6 Non-metric Observations and Pathology in Deciduous Dentition
E7 Hypoplasias and Carious Lesions in Permanent Dentition
E8 Infracranial Measurements
E9 Infracranial Non-metric Variation
E10 Vertebral Non-metric Variation
E11 Osteoarthritis in Skulls and Appendicular Skeletons
E12 Osteoarthritis and Osteophytosis in Vertebral Columns

A separate zipped file contains twelve codebooks that define  the abbreviations and terms used in the tables.