Thailand's Coffin Caves
Jerry Redfern
Between 2,100 and 1,200 years ago, an ancient civilization buried its dead in more than 60 caves in a limestone mountain range in northern Thailand. Who were these people? Why were they buried in caves? Where did they go? No one knows, but their massive teak coffins remain. Meager funding has hampered archaeological work aimed at unraveling the mysterious culture. Meanwhile, the coffins are at the center of local people's beliefs in Spirit People, and are a main draw for an ever-growing tourist trade. Photographer Jerry Redfern and writer Karen Coates went to investigate.

Results

  • Young kids stand around an ancient teak coffin while walking through Jabo Cave. Archaeologists drilled this and several other coffins without the permission of local villagers. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits.
 The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.
Young kids stand around an ancient teak coffin while walking through Jabo Cave. Archaeologists drilled this and several other coffins without the permission of local villagers. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits.
 The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.
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      Jabo, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 31/12/2008: Young kids stand around an ancient teak coffin while walking through Jabo Cave. Archaeologists drilled this and several other coffins without the permission of local villagers. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits. The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • A local boatman takes a load of tourists along the underground river that flows through Tham Lod cave in northern Thailand. Thousands of people swarmed the cave over the New Year holiday, leading to concerns over too many visitors walking on and through the fragile limestone cave formations.A local boatman takes a load of tourists along the underground river that flows through Tham Lod cave in northern Thailand. Thousands of people swarmed the cave over the New Year holiday, leading to concerns over too many visitors walking on and through the fragile limestone cave formations.
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      Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 28/12/2008: A local boatman takes a load of tourists along the underground river that flows through Tham Lod cave in northern Thailand. Thousands of people swarmed the cave over the New Year holiday, leading to concerns over too many visitors walking on and through the fragile limestone cave formations.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • Sorn Chai, an ethnic Lahu guide, ducks below an ancient teak coffin while walking through in Jabo Cave. Archaeologists drilled this and several other coffins without the permission of local villagers. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits.
 The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.Sorn Chai, an ethnic Lahu guide, ducks below an ancient teak coffin while walking through in Jabo Cave. Archaeologists drilled this and several other coffins without the permission of local villagers. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits.
 The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.
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      Jabo, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 01/03/2009: Sorn Chai, an ethnic Lahu guide, ducks below an ancient teak coffin while walking through in Jabo Cave. Archaeologists drilled this and several other coffins without the permission of local villagers. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits. The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • A large dog's head handle from the end of a broken teak coffin rests against a teak coffin pillar in Bo Khrai cave in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand. The remnants of other coffins, dilapidated by time, lie scattered about. 
Approximately 1,700 years ago, people dragged dozens of these massive coffins and pillars deep into this cave for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.A large dog's head handle from the end of a broken teak coffin rests against a teak coffin pillar in Bo Khrai cave in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand. The remnants of other coffins, dilapidated by time, lie scattered about. 
Approximately 1,700 years ago, people dragged dozens of these massive coffins and pillars deep into this cave for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.
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      Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 29/12/2008: A large dog's head handle from the end of a broken teak coffin rests against a teak coffin pillar in Bo Khrai cave in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand. The remnants of other coffins, dilapidated by time, lie scattered about. Approximately 1,700 years ago, people dragged dozens of these massive coffins and pillars deep into this cave for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • A view over the scenic limestone hills of northern Thailand. These hills are peppered with caves both large and small, more than 80 of which were used as coffin burial sites by an unknown ancient group of people around 2,000 years ago. Archaeological studies show that people have lived in the area for at least 10,000 years.A view over the scenic limestone hills of northern Thailand. These hills are peppered with caves both large and small, more than 80 of which were used as coffin burial sites by an unknown ancient group of people around 2,000 years ago. Archaeological studies show that people have lived in the area for at least 10,000 years.
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      Tham Lod, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 01/01/2009: A view over the scenic limestone hills of northern Thailand. These hills are peppered with caves both large and small, more than 80 of which were used as coffin burial sites by an unknown ancient group of people around 2,000 years ago. Archaeological studies show that people have lived in the area for at least 10,000 years.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • An ancient log coffin still stands in place in an open-air cave half way up a hillside near Pang Mapha, Thailand. 
This area of northern Mae Hong Son province has more than 80 ancient log coffin sites. Pottery, lacquer ware, beads, tools and bones indicate people have lived in the area for at least 13,000 years, though most of the coffins date to around 1,700 years ago. An ancient log coffin still stands in place in an open-air cave half way up a hillside near Pang Mapha, Thailand. 
This area of northern Mae Hong Son province has more than 80 ancient log coffin sites. Pottery, lacquer ware, beads, tools and bones indicate people have lived in the area for at least 13,000 years, though most of the coffins date to around 1,700 years ago.
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      Pang Mapha, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 27/12/2008: An ancient log coffin still stands in place in an open-air cave half way up a hillside near Pang Mapha, Thailand. This area of northern Mae Hong Son province has more than 80 ancient log coffin sites. Pottery, lacquer ware, beads, tools and bones indicate people have lived in the area for at least 13,000 years, though most of the coffins date to around 1,700 years ago.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • A string of ancient potsherds lie on the floor of an unnamed cave near Tham Lod. Log coffins in the cave have been dated being nearly 2,200 years old.
 People dragged several massive teak coffins and pillars deep into this cave for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.A string of ancient potsherds lie on the floor of an unnamed cave near Tham Lod. Log coffins in the cave have been dated being nearly 2,200 years old.
 People dragged several massive teak coffins and pillars deep into this cave for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.
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      Pang Mapha, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 02/01/2009: A string of ancient potsherds lie on the floor of an unnamed cave near Tham Lod. Log coffins in the cave have been dated being nearly 2,200 years old. People dragged several massive teak coffins and pillars deep into this cave for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • A local guide shines his light on a fractured teak coffin while standing beneath another massive example still resting intact on its teak supports in Jabo Cave. Archaeologists drilled these and several other coffins without the permission of local villagers. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits.
 The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.
A local guide shines his light on a fractured teak coffin while standing beneath another massive example still resting intact on its teak supports in Jabo Cave. Archaeologists drilled these and several other coffins without the permission of local villagers. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits.
 The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.
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      Jabo, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 31/12/2008: A local guide shines his light on a fractured teak coffin while standing beneath another massive example still resting intact on its teak supports in Jabo Cave. Archaeologists drilled these and several other coffins without the permission of local villagers. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits. The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • Local kids run past an ancient teak coffin still resting on its original teak supports near the entrance to Jabo Cave. Archaeologists drilled this and several other coffins without the permission of local villagers. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits.
 The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.
Local kids run past an ancient teak coffin still resting on its original teak supports near the entrance to Jabo Cave. Archaeologists drilled this and several other coffins without the permission of local villagers. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits.
 The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.
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      Jabo, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 31/12/2008: Local kids run past an ancient teak coffin still resting on its original teak supports near the entrance to Jabo Cave. Archaeologists drilled this and several other coffins without the permission of local villagers. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits. The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • Sorn Chai, an ethnic Lahu guide, points out where archaeologists drilled into ancient teak coffins in Jabo Cave without the permission of local villagers. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits.
 The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.Sorn Chai, an ethnic Lahu guide, points out where archaeologists drilled into ancient teak coffins in Jabo Cave without the permission of local villagers. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits.
 The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.
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      Jabo, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 01/03/2009: Sorn Chai, an ethnic Lahu guide, points out where archaeologists drilled into ancient teak coffins in Jabo Cave without the permission of local villagers. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits. The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • An ancient stick figure with wavy arms is just discernable on the wall of Ban Rai, an open cave with several ancient teak coffins in northern Thailand. Archaeologists are not sure of the meaning of the painting, or who left it. 
The extremely fertile valley below the cave is likely what drew people to the area thousands of years ago, and those people left artifacts of their lives all around.
 Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, or spirits, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.An ancient stick figure with wavy arms is just discernable on the wall of Ban Rai, an open cave with several ancient teak coffins in northern Thailand. Archaeologists are not sure of the meaning of the painting, or who left it. 
The extremely fertile valley below the cave is likely what drew people to the area thousands of years ago, and those people left artifacts of their lives all around.
 Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, or spirits, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.
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      Ban Rai, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 30/12/2008: An ancient stick figure with wavy arms is just discernable on the wall of Ban Rai, an open cave with several ancient teak coffins in northern Thailand. Archaeologists are not sure of the meaning of the painting, or who left it. The extremely fertile valley below the cave is likely what drew people to the area thousands of years ago, and those people left artifacts of their lives all around. Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, or spirits, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • A drop of water falls from a tiny stalactite in an open air cave near Soppong, Thailand. The countless limestone caves of the area were formed by millennia of dripping, flowing waters.A drop of water falls from a tiny stalactite in an open air cave near Soppong, Thailand. The countless limestone caves of the area were formed by millennia of dripping, flowing waters.
  • Fragment of an adult skull found in an archaeological excavation at Tham Lod Cave in northern Thailand. The piece is now at the Sirindhorn Anthropological Center in Bangkok.Fragment of an adult skull found in an archaeological excavation at Tham Lod Cave in northern Thailand. The piece is now at the Sirindhorn Anthropological Center in Bangkok.
  • Fon Nittim, a Thai student of pre-history, holds up a potsherd excavated at Ban Rai cave. At least 15 massive teak coffins have been found at the site, and archaeological work had uncovered ancient pottery and human bone fragments. Fon Nittim, a Thai student of pre-history, holds up a potsherd excavated at Ban Rai cave. At least 15 massive teak coffins have been found at the site, and archaeological work had uncovered ancient pottery and human bone fragments.
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      Ban Rai, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 01/01/2009: Fon Nittim, a Thai student of pre-history, holds up a potsherd excavated at Ban Rai cave. At least 15 massive teak coffins have been found at the site, and archaeological work had uncovered ancient pottery and human bone fragments.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • Recreation of an adult skull from fragments found in an archaeological excavation at Tham Lod Cave in northern Thailand. The skull and fragments are now at the Sirindhorn Anthropological Center in Bangkok.Recreation of an adult skull from fragments found in an archaeological excavation at Tham Lod Cave in northern Thailand. The skull and fragments are now at the Sirindhorn Anthropological Center in Bangkok.
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      Bangkok, Bangkok, Thailand - 06/02/2009: Recreation of an adult skull from fragments found in an archaeological excavation at Tham Lod Cave in northern Thailand. The skull and fragments are now at the Sirindhorn Anthropological Center in Bangkok.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • Fon Nittim, a Thai student of pre-history, explains the known history of Ban Rai cave to a pair of French tourists visiting the site.
 At least 15 massive teak coffins have been found at the site, and archaeological work had uncovered ancient pottery and human bone fragments. There are more than 80 known cave coffin sites in this area of northern Thailand.Fon Nittim, a Thai student of pre-history, explains the known history of Ban Rai cave to a pair of French tourists visiting the site.
 At least 15 massive teak coffins have been found at the site, and archaeological work had uncovered ancient pottery and human bone fragments. There are more than 80 known cave coffin sites in this area of northern Thailand.
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      Ban Rai, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 01/01/2009: Fon Nittim, a Thai student of pre-history, explains the known history of Ban Rai cave to a pair of French tourists visiting the site. At least 15 massive teak coffins have been found at the site, and archaeological work had uncovered ancient pottery and human bone fragments. There are more than 80 known cave coffin sites in this area of northern Thailand.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • Jee Kamsuk sits in his home and talks about how he used to hear the Pi Maen spirits floating around the hills surrounding Ban Rai village in years past. But he says that he hasn't heard them in many years, since electric lights, radios, cars and TVs came to the area. He thinks the trappings of modernity scared the Pi Maen spirits away.
 Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.Jee Kamsuk sits in his home and talks about how he used to hear the Pi Maen spirits floating around the hills surrounding Ban Rai village in years past. But he says that he hasn't heard them in many years, since electric lights, radios, cars and TVs came to the area. He thinks the trappings of modernity scared the Pi Maen spirits away.
 Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.
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    • Contact the contributor about this file
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      Ban Rai, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 30/12/2008: Jee Kamsuk sits in his home and talks about how he used to hear the Pi Maen spirits floating around the hills surrounding Ban Rai village in years past. But he says that he hasn't heard them in many years, since electric lights, radios, cars and TVs came to the area. He thinks the trappings of modernity scared the Pi Maen spirits away. Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • Portrait of archaeologist Rasmi Shoocongdej in her office at Bangkok's Silpakorn University. She started the Highland Archaeology Project to study and record the numerous archaeological sites across northern Thailand.Portrait of archaeologist Rasmi Shoocongdej in her office at Bangkok's Silpakorn University. She started the Highland Archaeology Project to study and record the numerous archaeological sites across northern Thailand.
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      Bangkok, Bangkok, Thailand - 05/02/2009: Portrait of archaeologist Rasmi Shoocongdej in her office at Bangkok's Silpakorn University. She started the Highland Archaeology Project to study and record the numerous archaeological sites across northern Thailand.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • A local farmer waters his vegetables in a fertile field in Ban Rai village. The extremely fertile valley is likely what drew people to the area thousands of years ago, and those people left artifacts of their lives all around. The ancient Ban Rai cave coffin site is in the hills just above this village. 
Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, or spirits, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.A local farmer waters his vegetables in a fertile field in Ban Rai village. The extremely fertile valley is likely what drew people to the area thousands of years ago, and those people left artifacts of their lives all around. The ancient Ban Rai cave coffin site is in the hills just above this village. 
Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, or spirits, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.
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      Ban Rai, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 29/12/2008: A local farmer waters his vegetables in a fertile field in Ban Rai village. The extremely fertile valley is likely what drew people to the area thousands of years ago, and those people left artifacts of their lives all around. The ancient Ban Rai cave coffin site is in the hills just above this village. Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, or spirits, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • Thi and his wife Nakha eat a simple lunch in their field house, where they live when they are tending their fields away from home, near Bo Khrai cave in northern Thailand.
 The remote cave is the resting place of several ancient teak coffins, one of more than 80 such caves scattered about this corner of northern Thailand.Thi and his wife Nakha eat a simple lunch in their field house, where they live when they are tending their fields away from home, near Bo Khrai cave in northern Thailand.
 The remote cave is the resting place of several ancient teak coffins, one of more than 80 such caves scattered about this corner of northern Thailand.
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      Bo Khrai, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 29/12/2008: Thi and his wife Nakha eat a simple lunch in their field house, where they live when they are tending their fields away from home, near Bo Khrai cave in northern Thailand. The remote cave is the resting place of several ancient teak coffins, one of more than 80 such caves scattered about this corner of northern Thailand.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • Sorn Chai, an ethnic Lahu guide, sits in the entrance to Jabo Cave. Archaeologists drilled this and several other coffins without the permission of local villagers. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits.
The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.Sorn Chai, an ethnic Lahu guide, sits in the entrance to Jabo Cave. Archaeologists drilled this and several other coffins without the permission of local villagers. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits.
The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.
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      Jabo, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 01/03/2009: Sorn Chai, an ethnic Lahu guide, sits in the entrance to Jabo Cave. Archaeologists drilled this and several other coffins without the permission of local villagers. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits. The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • Local boatmen wait to take tourists along the underground river that flows through Tham Lod cave in northern Thailand. Thousands of people swarmed the cave over the New Year holiday, leading to concerns over too many visitors walking on and through the fragile limestone cave formations.Local boatmen wait to take tourists along the underground river that flows through Tham Lod cave in northern Thailand. Thousands of people swarmed the cave over the New Year holiday, leading to concerns over too many visitors walking on and through the fragile limestone cave formations.
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      Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 28/12/2008: Local boatmen wait to take tourists along the underground river that flows through Tham Lod cave in northern Thailand. Thousands of people swarmed the cave over the New Year holiday, leading to concerns over too many visitors walking on and through the fragile limestone cave formations.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • New Years tourists pass within inches of an ancient teak burial coffin, in a back passage of Tham Lod cave. Years of uncontrolled visiting have led authorities to rope off parts of the caves to preserve what remains of the fragile coffins and their surroundings. Many coffins in this popular cave have been broken and pilfered over the years.New Years tourists pass within inches of an ancient teak burial coffin, in a back passage of Tham Lod cave. Years of uncontrolled visiting have led authorities to rope off parts of the caves to preserve what remains of the fragile coffins and their surroundings. Many coffins in this popular cave have been broken and pilfered over the years.
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      Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 28/12/2008: New Years tourists pass within inches of an ancient teak burial coffin, in a back passage of Tham Lod cave. Years of uncontrolled visiting have led authorities to rope off parts of the caves to preserve what remains of the fragile coffins and their surroundings. Many coffins in this popular cave have been broken and pilfered over the years.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • Pieces of ancient teak coffins lie spread around the floor of Ban Rai, an open cave with several ancient teak coffins in northern Thailand. 
Around 1,700 years ago, an unknown group of people lived in the region and conducted secondary burials in massive coffins like these here. Archaeological work on these mysterious ancients has been stymied by a lack of funding.
 The extremely fertile valley below the cave is likely what drew people to the area thousands of years ago, and those people left artifacts of their lives all around. 
Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, or spirits, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.Pieces of ancient teak coffins lie spread around the floor of Ban Rai, an open cave with several ancient teak coffins in northern Thailand. 
Around 1,700 years ago, an unknown group of people lived in the region and conducted secondary burials in massive coffins like these here. Archaeological work on these mysterious ancients has been stymied by a lack of funding.
 The extremely fertile valley below the cave is likely what drew people to the area thousands of years ago, and those people left artifacts of their lives all around. 
Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, or spirits, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.
    • Add to lightbox
    • Contact the contributor about this file
    • jre06063.jpg
      Ban Rai, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 30/12/2008: Pieces of ancient teak coffins lie spread around the floor of Ban Rai, an open cave with several ancient teak coffins in northern Thailand. Around 1,700 years ago, an unknown group of people lived in the region and conducted secondary burials in massive coffins like these here. Archaeological work on these mysterious ancients has been stymied by a lack of funding. The extremely fertile valley below the cave is likely what drew people to the area thousands of years ago, and those people left artifacts of their lives all around. Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, or spirits, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • View of a large dog's head handle from the end of a broken teak coffin lying on the floor of Bo Khrai cave in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand. 
Approximately 1,700 years ago, people dragged dozens of these massive coffins and pillars deep into this cave for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.View of a large dog's head handle from the end of a broken teak coffin lying on the floor of Bo Khrai cave in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand. 
Approximately 1,700 years ago, people dragged dozens of these massive coffins and pillars deep into this cave for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.
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      Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 29/12/2008: View of a large dog's head handle from the end of a broken teak coffin lying on the floor of Bo Khrai cave in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand. Approximately 1,700 years ago, people dragged dozens of these massive coffins and pillars deep into this cave for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • A massive, ancient teak coffin lies on the floor of Ban Rai, an open cave with several ancient teak coffins in northern Thailand. Other teak supports are visible in the background. Around 1,700 years ago, an unknown group of people lived in the region and conducted secondary burials in massive coffins like these here. Archaeological work on these mysterious ancients has been stymied by a lack of funding.
The extremely fertile valley below the cave is likely what drew people to the area thousands of years ago, and those people left artifacts of their lives all around. 
Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, or spirits, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.A massive, ancient teak coffin lies on the floor of Ban Rai, an open cave with several ancient teak coffins in northern Thailand. Other teak supports are visible in the background. Around 1,700 years ago, an unknown group of people lived in the region and conducted secondary burials in massive coffins like these here. Archaeological work on these mysterious ancients has been stymied by a lack of funding.
The extremely fertile valley below the cave is likely what drew people to the area thousands of years ago, and those people left artifacts of their lives all around. 
Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, or spirits, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.
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      Ban Rai, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 30/12/2008: A massive, ancient teak coffin lies on the floor of Ban Rai, an open cave with several ancient teak coffins in northern Thailand. Other teak supports are visible in the background. Around 1,700 years ago, an unknown group of people lived in the region and conducted secondary burials in massive coffins like these here. Archaeological work on these mysterious ancients has been stymied by a lack of funding. The extremely fertile valley below the cave is likely what drew people to the area thousands of years ago, and those people left artifacts of their lives all around. Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, or spirits, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • Several ancient teak burial coffins are stacked like cord wood, resting as they were originally placed in this small side passage of Bo Khrai cave in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand. 
Approximately 1,700 years ago, people dragged dozens of these massive coffins and pillars deep into this cave for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.Several ancient teak burial coffins are stacked like cord wood, resting as they were originally placed in this small side passage of Bo Khrai cave in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand. 
Approximately 1,700 years ago, people dragged dozens of these massive coffins and pillars deep into this cave for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.
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      Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 29/12/2008: Several ancient teak burial coffins are stacked like cord wood, resting as they were originally placed in this small side passage of Bo Khrai cave in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand. Approximately 1,700 years ago, people dragged dozens of these massive coffins and pillars deep into this cave for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • A small collection of ancient human teeth sits on a rock in unnamed cave near Tham Lod. Log coffins in the cave have been dated being nearly 2,200 years old. 
People dragged several massive teak coffins and pillars deep into this cave for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.
A small collection of ancient human teeth sits on a rock in unnamed cave near Tham Lod. Log coffins in the cave have been dated being nearly 2,200 years old. 
People dragged several massive teak coffins and pillars deep into this cave for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.
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      Pang Mapha, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 02/01/2009: A small collection of ancient human teeth sits on a rock in unnamed cave near Tham Lod. Log coffins in the cave have been dated being nearly 2,200 years old. People dragged several massive teak coffins and pillars deep into this cave for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • An ancient deer tooth sits next to a potsherd, both excavated at Ban Rai cave. At least 15 massive teak coffins have been found at the site, and archaeological work had uncovered ancient pottery and human bone fragments. An ancient deer tooth sits next to a potsherd, both excavated at Ban Rai cave. At least 15 massive teak coffins have been found at the site, and archaeological work had uncovered ancient pottery and human bone fragments.
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      Ban Rai, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 01/01/2009: An ancient deer tooth sits next to a potsherd, both excavated at Ban Rai cave. At least 15 massive teak coffins have been found at the site, and archaeological work had uncovered ancient pottery and human bone fragments.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • Fragment of an adolescent skull found in an archaeological excavation at Tham Lod Cave in northern Thailand. The skull and fragments are now at the Sirindhorn Anthropological Center in Bangkok.Fragment of an adolescent skull found in an archaeological excavation at Tham Lod Cave in northern Thailand. The skull and fragments are now at the Sirindhorn Anthropological Center in Bangkok.
  • Numerous stick figures and other designs are visible in ancient paintings high up on the wall of Tham Wua, a large open-air cave in northern Thailand. Archaeologists are not sure of the meaning of the painting, or who left it. Today the cave is the centerpiece of a Buddhist religious retreat, and the paintings are barely visible behind a massive modern Buddha statue.
 The extremely fertile valley near the cave is likely what drew people to the area thousands of years ago, and those people left artifacts of their lives all around.
Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, or spirits, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.Numerous stick figures and other designs are visible in ancient paintings high up on the wall of Tham Wua, a large open-air cave in northern Thailand. Archaeologists are not sure of the meaning of the painting, or who left it. Today the cave is the centerpiece of a Buddhist religious retreat, and the paintings are barely visible behind a massive modern Buddha statue.
 The extremely fertile valley near the cave is likely what drew people to the area thousands of years ago, and those people left artifacts of their lives all around.
Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, or spirits, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.
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      Tham Wua, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 28/02/2009: Numerous stick figures and other designs are visible in ancient paintings high up on the wall of Tham Wua, a large open-air cave in northern Thailand. Archaeologists are not sure of the meaning of the painting, or who left it. Today the cave is the centerpiece of a Buddhist religious retreat, and the paintings are barely visible behind a massive modern Buddha statue. The extremely fertile valley near the cave is likely what drew people to the area thousands of years ago, and those people left artifacts of their lives all around. Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, or spirits, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • Close-up view of where archaeologists drilled into ancient teak coffins in Jabo Cave without the permission of local villagers. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits.
 The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.Close-up view of where archaeologists drilled into ancient teak coffins in Jabo Cave without the permission of local villagers. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits.
 The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.
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      Jabo, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 01/03/2009: Close-up view of where archaeologists drilled into ancient teak coffins in Jabo Cave without the permission of local villagers. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits. The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • Australian John Spies climbs down into an unnamed cave, site of ancient coffin burials, near Tham Lod. 
Over the past 30 years, this amateur archaeologist has located approximately 80 other caves with similar ancient teak coffin burials, and has been instrumental in bringing knowledge of this archaeological treasure trove to the greater world.
People dragged several massive teak coffins and pillars deep into this cave approximately two millennia ago for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.Australian John Spies climbs down into an unnamed cave, site of ancient coffin burials, near Tham Lod. 
Over the past 30 years, this amateur archaeologist has located approximately 80 other caves with similar ancient teak coffin burials, and has been instrumental in bringing knowledge of this archaeological treasure trove to the greater world.
People dragged several massive teak coffins and pillars deep into this cave approximately two millennia ago for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.
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      Pang Mapha, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 02/01/2009: Australian John Spies climbs down into an unnamed cave, site of ancient coffin burials, near Tham Lod. Over the past 30 years, this amateur archaeologist has located approximately 80 other caves with similar ancient teak coffin burials, and has been instrumental in bringing knowledge of this archaeological treasure trove to the greater world. People dragged several massive teak coffins and pillars deep into this cave approximately two millennia ago for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • Australian John Spies sits atop a rock outcropping in an unnamed cave, with a pair of teak coffin halves dated nearly 2,200 years old, near Tham Lod. 
Over the past 30 years, this amateur archaeologist has located approximately 80 other caves with similar ancient teak coffin burials, and has been instrumental in bringing knowledge of this archaeological treasure trove to the greater world.
People dragged several massive teak coffins and pillars deep into this cave approximately two millennia ago for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.Australian John Spies sits atop a rock outcropping in an unnamed cave, with a pair of teak coffin halves dated nearly 2,200 years old, near Tham Lod. 
Over the past 30 years, this amateur archaeologist has located approximately 80 other caves with similar ancient teak coffin burials, and has been instrumental in bringing knowledge of this archaeological treasure trove to the greater world.
People dragged several massive teak coffins and pillars deep into this cave approximately two millennia ago for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.
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    • jre06080.jpg
      Pang Mapha, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 02/01/2009: Australian John Spies sits atop a rock outcropping in an unnamed cave, with a pair of teak coffin halves dated nearly 2,200 years old, near Tham Lod. Over the past 30 years, this amateur archaeologist has located approximately 80 other caves with similar ancient teak coffin burials, and has been instrumental in bringing knowledge of this archaeological treasure trove to the greater world. People dragged several massive teak coffins and pillars deep into this cave approximately two millennia ago for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • Local villager Thi Moo sits beneath an ancient teak burial coffin in Bo Khrai cave in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand. The remnants of several other coffins, dilapidated by time, lie scattered about. Approximately 1,700 years ago, people dragged dozens of these massive coffins and pillars deep into this cave for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.Local villager Thi Moo sits beneath an ancient teak burial coffin in Bo Khrai cave in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand. The remnants of several other coffins, dilapidated by time, lie scattered about. Approximately 1,700 years ago, people dragged dozens of these massive coffins and pillars deep into this cave for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.
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      Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 29/12/2008: Local villager Thi Moo sits beneath an ancient teak burial coffin in Bo Khrai cave in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand. The remnants of several other coffins, dilapidated by time, lie scattered about. Approximately 1,700 years ago, people dragged dozens of these massive coffins and pillars deep into this cave for what were likely secondary burials. Centuries of isolation have kept this and more than 80 other cave coffin burial sites in relatively good condition. A lack of funding keeps them relatively unstudied.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • A massive, ancient teak coffin has partially fallen from its teak supports in Ban Rai, an open cave with several ancient teak coffins in northern Thailand. Other teak supports are visible in the background. Around 1,700 years ago, an unknown group of people lived in the region and conducted secondary burials in massive coffins like these here. Archaeological work on these mysterious ancients has been stymied by a lack of funding.
 The extremely fertile valley below the cave is likely what drew people to the area thousands of years ago, and those people left artifacts of their lives all around.
 Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, or spirits, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.A massive, ancient teak coffin has partially fallen from its teak supports in Ban Rai, an open cave with several ancient teak coffins in northern Thailand. Other teak supports are visible in the background. Around 1,700 years ago, an unknown group of people lived in the region and conducted secondary burials in massive coffins like these here. Archaeological work on these mysterious ancients has been stymied by a lack of funding.
 The extremely fertile valley below the cave is likely what drew people to the area thousands of years ago, and those people left artifacts of their lives all around.
 Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, or spirits, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.
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    • Contact the contributor about this file
    • jre06060.jpg
      Ban Rai, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 30/12/2008: A massive, ancient teak coffin has partially fallen from its teak supports in Ban Rai, an open cave with several ancient teak coffins in northern Thailand. Other teak supports are visible in the background. Around 1,700 years ago, an unknown group of people lived in the region and conducted secondary burials in massive coffins like these here. Archaeological work on these mysterious ancients has been stymied by a lack of funding. The extremely fertile valley below the cave is likely what drew people to the area thousands of years ago, and those people left artifacts of their lives all around. Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, or spirits, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • Amateur archaeologist, local guide and long-time adventurer John Spies sits in the office of his Cave Lodge guest house and talks about the many caves he's found with archeological remains during his three decades in the hills of northern Thailand. Cave Lodge is the long-time guesthouse near the entrance to Tham Lod cave, which he explored. Amateur archaeologist, local guide and long-time adventurer John Spies sits in the office of his Cave Lodge guest house and talks about the many caves he's found with archeological remains during his three decades in the hills of northern Thailand. Cave Lodge is the long-time guesthouse near the entrance to Tham Lod cave, which he explored.
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    • jre06095.jpg
      Tham Lod, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 02/03/2009: Amateur archaeologist, local guide and long-time adventurer John Spies sits in the office of his Cave Lodge guest house and talks about the many caves he's found with archeological remains during his three decades in the hills of northern Thailand. Cave Lodge is the long-time guesthouse near the entrance to Tham Lod cave, which he explored.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • Jabo village headman Ja Ka Shay, talks about how archaeologists drilled samples from several ancient teak coffins in a nearby cave without the permission of his village. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits. Ja Ka Shay's mother sits in the background.
The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.Jabo village headman Ja Ka Shay, talks about how archaeologists drilled samples from several ancient teak coffins in a nearby cave without the permission of his village. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits. Ja Ka Shay's mother sits in the background.
The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.
    • Add to lightbox
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    • jre06088.jpg
      Jabo, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 01/03/2009: Jabo village headman Ja Ka Shay, talks about how archaeologists drilled samples from several ancient teak coffins in a nearby cave without the permission of his village. The villagers caught the archaeologists in the act and forced them to pay a 15,000 baht ($430 US) fine which paid for a ceremony to appease angered cave spirits. Ja Ka Shay's mother sits in the background. The cave houses several ancient teak coffins, placed there by an unknown group of people nearly 2,000 years ago. There are more than 80 known "coffin caves" like this scattered about this area of northern Thailand. Archaeologists have only recently begun to catalog and study these ancient sites.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • Numerous stick figures and other designs are visible in ancient paintings high up on the wall of Tham Wua, a large open-air cave in northern Thailand. Archaeologists are not sure of the meaning of the painting, or who left it. Today the cave is the centerpiece of a Buddhist religious retreat, and the paintings are barely visible above and to the left of a massive modern Buddha statue.
The extremely fertile valley near the cave is likely what drew people to the area thousands of years ago, and those people left artifacts of their lives all around.
 Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, or spirits, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.Numerous stick figures and other designs are visible in ancient paintings high up on the wall of Tham Wua, a large open-air cave in northern Thailand. Archaeologists are not sure of the meaning of the painting, or who left it. Today the cave is the centerpiece of a Buddhist religious retreat, and the paintings are barely visible above and to the left of a massive modern Buddha statue.
The extremely fertile valley near the cave is likely what drew people to the area thousands of years ago, and those people left artifacts of their lives all around.
 Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, or spirits, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.
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    • Contact the contributor about this file
    • jre06087.jpg
      Tham Wua, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 28/02/2009: Numerous stick figures and other designs are visible in ancient paintings high up on the wall of Tham Wua, a large open-air cave in northern Thailand. Archaeologists are not sure of the meaning of the painting, or who left it. Today the cave is the centerpiece of a Buddhist religious retreat, and the paintings are barely visible above and to the left of a massive modern Buddha statue. The extremely fertile valley near the cave is likely what drew people to the area thousands of years ago, and those people left artifacts of their lives all around. Many locals believe that the dozens of archaeological sites in the area are sacred remnants of Pi Maen, or spirits, and are to be treated carefully and with great respect.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern
  • A view of the rolling countryside surrounding Bo Khrai cave in northern Thailand.
 The remote cave is the resting place of several ancient teak coffins, one of more than 80 such caves scattered about this corner of northern Thailand.A view of the rolling countryside surrounding Bo Khrai cave in northern Thailand.
 The remote cave is the resting place of several ancient teak coffins, one of more than 80 such caves scattered about this corner of northern Thailand.
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    • jre06056.jpg
      Bo Khrai, Mae Hong Son, Thailand - 29/12/2008: A view of the rolling countryside surrounding Bo Khrai cave in northern Thailand. The remote cave is the resting place of several ancient teak coffins, one of more than 80 such caves scattered about this corner of northern Thailand.
      Credit: Jerry Redfern

 

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