The Kingdoms of Thailand
The Dvaravati Kingdom
- The Mon Dvaravati Kingdom is a title which describes a distribution of Mon settlements or independent urban communities without the administrative systems we usually refer to as a Kingdom. Artifacts found at Nakhon Pathom, Lop Buri, Ratchaburi, Ayutthaya and Prachinburi date between 5th - 7th C and reflect Indian (Gupta Period) nfluences.
- It is believed that these centers developed from prehistoric times, adopted prehistoric art, which was later influenced by Indian styles and adopted and improved surrounding moats and embankments for defence. The cities were circular and were surrounded by two moats and an earthen embankment. The moats were designed to also store water. Most cities were quite large and were located in river basins and close to rivers for water access and transport by water. In the centre of these cities were the Wats.
- The Dvaravati Period continued in Central Thailand until the 11th C and the arrival of the Khmer Empire. Until then these were Buddhist communities. However from architectural and sculptural evidence discovered we see an assimilation process with traditional style influences to produce a distinctive ‘’Thailand’’ style.