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Central Region Historical Background

The first sign of prehistoric culture emerged some 12,000 years ago, with formal burial of the dead at a cave in Kanchanaburi. Some 3,000 - 2,000 years ago, groups of settlements requiring developed social and cultural structures began to occur. The early civilisations influenced by the dominant Indian culture include Lawa, Dvaravati and Khmer.

The Lawa civilisation centred on Lawo (modern Lop Buri and spread south to north in the Chao Phraya River basin. To the west, the Mon people subsequently established the Dvaravati civilisation, one of whose main centres was Nakhon Pathom. Buddhism was their major religion. To the east, the Khmer empire formerly occupied most of the northeastern region some 1,000 years ago and became so powerful that its influence spread towards the west as far as Kanchanaburi.

After the decline of the Khmer power in the 13th century, Sukhothai emerged in the north. It is regarded as the first kingdom dominatd by the Thai race. In the 15th century, the focus of Thai history moved to the Central Plains when the Ayutthaya Kingdom was established and expanded its power over most of the northern and central Thai states. This most prosperous city was ruthlessly sacked by a Burmese invasion in 1767. Then, Thon Buri emerged after the fall of Ayutthaya, but it lasted only for a short period. In 1782, King Rama I established Bangkok as the new capital, opposite to the Thon Buri site. He is the founder of the Chakri Dynasty, of which His Majesty King Bhumibol (King Rama IX) is the ninth monarch.

 

 

 

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 38/81 Yen-A-Kat Rd., Sathorn, Bangkok, Thailand, 10120
Tel: (662) 671-3526 Fax: (662) 671-1361
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