Early stone age
Fossils and stone tools have been found at an archeological site in Lampang northern Thailand that date back 1,000,000 years. The Lampang man is a Homo Erectus fossil that has been dated between 500,000 and 1,000,000 years old. Western and central Thailand seem to have a very old history with many fossils, burial sites, tools and cave drawings having been found throughout this region. I have seen prehistoric burial sites in Tak, Lopburi and Ang Tong as well as cave drawings in Uthai Thani and Kanchanaburi. Asia as a whole was quickly settled by Homo Erectus moving out of Africa. This period between 2,500,000 years and 10,000 years is known as the early stone age and there was plenty of activity in the western side of Thailand.
Homo Erectus learnt to use fire and were hunter-gatherers, they mainly lived in caves and by streams or waterfalls. Through genetic research, Thai's have been shown to not be decedents of Home Erectus but rather to be descended directly from Africa as the single origin hypothesis proposes. Home Erectus was the first human ancestor to spready throughout the old world from about 2,000,000 years ago. The reason for their disappearance and the coinciding appearance of homo sapiens is still contested to this day. They are thought to have become extinct around 100,000 years ago with the last specimens having been found on Java.
Neolithic period or new stone age
Domestication occurred during this period and was known as the 'Neolithic Revolution'. The caves and streams were left and farming of the plains began with metal tools having been engineered towards the end of this period and the beginning of the copper age. Excavations have found that rice farming was brought into this region at around 4000BP (Years before present) by migrating rice farming societies from northern Asia.
Copper and Bronze Age
The copper and bronze ages can be defined as the period when civilizations began to display their ability at smelting metals such as copper and tin. The next stage was the accomplishment of alloying these metals to cast bronze. Confirmed findings of this can be found at the archeological site of Ban Chiang, where bronze artifacts have been found dating back to 2100BCE. During these period both farming and integration