Home Region:  Mainland (Southeast Asia)

Rattanakosin

D G SC WF HS CC PT EQ 2020  th_rattanakosin / ThRattn

Preceding:
1593 CE 1767 CE Ayutthaya (th_ayutthaya)    [continuity]
Add one more here.

Succeeding:
No Polity found. Add one here.

After the destruction of the city of Ayutthaya by the Burmese in 1767, the Chao Phraya Basin was briefly ruled by Phaya Taksin, a charismatic warrior-king of obscure origins who chose Thonburi as his capital, near Bangkok, an old Chinese trading settlement. In 1782, what remained of the old Ayutthaya aristocracy staged a coup and put their leader on the throne. This leader took the name of Rama I Chakri and moved the capital to Bangkok, known at the time as Rattanakosin or Krungthep. [1] Under Rama I, the kingdom rapidly expanded to the south (where it extended its control to the Malay peninsula), the north (where Chiang Mai became a new tributary), and the east (taking control of Vientiane and much of Cambodia). [2] It could be said to have reached its peak between 1793 and 1810, when it found new stability, regained control over important Asian trade networks, and witnessed a literary florescence, with the translation of several classics from different Asian languages. [3] Our ’ThRattn’ polity spans the 89 years between 1782 and 1873, when Rama V began a comprehensive series of modernizing reforms. [4]
Population and political organization
The Rattanakosin kingdom was ruled by the Thai aristocracy. The king was simply a primus inter pares ‒ indeed, some kings, such as Rama II and Rama IV, actually retreated into a ritual role and left the administration of the kingdom entirely to the nobility. Even during the reign of more active kings, such as Rama I and Rama III, the aristocracy still monopolized the key posts in the central administration. However, the king always led the country in spiritual matters: he was seen as a bodhisattva, a spiritually superior superhuman being tasked with preserving Buddhism and aiding his subjects in their ascent toward nirvana, for example through moral laws banning sinful pursuits. [5]
Evidence for the size of this polity’s population before 1911, the year of the first census, is sparse and unreliable. However, a reasonable estimate would be that, following slow growth beginning in the 1780s, the population reached just below 5 million by the middle of the 19th century. [6] It is not clear whether this estimate includes tributary states and cities.

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, 27, 31) Chris Baker and Pasuk Phongpaichit. 2009. A History of Thailand. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[2]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, 27-28) Chris Baker and Pasuk Phongpaichit. 2009. A History of Thailand. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[3]: (Wyatt 1984, 154-55) David K. Wyatt. 1984. Thailand: A Short History. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

[4]: (Wyatt 1984, 194) David K. Wyatt. 1984. Thailand: A Short History. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

[5]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, 31-32) Chris Baker and Pasuk Phongpaichit. 2009. A History of Thailand. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

[6]: (Dixon 2002, xxxii) Chris Dixon. 1999. The Thai Economy: Uneven Development and Internationalisation. London: Routledge.

General Variables
Identity and Location
Utm Zone:
47 P  
47 Q  
48 P  
48 Q  
Original Name:
Rattanakosin  
Capital:
Rattanakosin  
Alternative Name:
Bangkok Empire  
Krungthep  
Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[1,793 CE ➜ 1,810 CE]  
Duration:
[1,782 CE ➜ 1,873 CE]  
Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
vassalage to [---]  
Supracultural Entity:
Indianized Southeast Asia  
Succeeding Entity:
Rattanakosin - Reform Period  
Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
2,175,000 km2  
Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity  
Preceding Entity:
Preceding:   Ayutthaya (th_ayutthaya)    [continuity]  
Degree of Centralization:
confederated state  
Language
Linguistic Family:
Tai-Kadai  
Language:
Thai  
Religion
Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[50,000 to 100,000] people  
Polity Territory:
513,120 km2  
Polity Population:
[1,000,000 to 3,000,000] people 1800 CE
[4,000,000 to 5,000,000] people 1850 CE
Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4  
Religious Level:
6  
Military Level:
5  
Administrative Level:
6  
Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent  
Professional Priesthood:
present  
Professional Military Officer:
inferred absent  
Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
absent  
Merit Promotion:
inferred absent  
Full Time Bureaucrat:
present  
Examination System:
inferred absent  
Law
Professional Lawyer:
inferred present  
Judge:
present  
Formal Legal Code:
present  
Court:
inferred present  
Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
inferred present  
Irrigation System:
present  
Drinking Water Supply System:
present  
Transport Infrastructure
Road:
absent 1782 CE 1857 CE
present 1857 CE 1873 CE
Port:
present  
Canal:
present  
Bridge:
inferred present  
Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present  
Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present  
Script:
present  
Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present  
Nonwritten Record:
present  
Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present  
Sacred Text:
present  
Religious Literature:
present  
Practical Literature:
present  
Philosophy:
inferred present  
Lists Tables and Classification:
present  
History:
present  
Fiction:
present  
Calendar:
present  
Information / Money
Token:
present  
Precious Metal:
inferred absent  
Paper Currency:
absent 1782 CE 1862 CE
present 1862 CE 1873 CE
Indigenous Coin:
present  
Foreign Coin:
present  
Article:
inferred absent  
Information / Postal System
General Postal Service:
present  
Information / Measurement System
Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
  Wooden Palisade:
unknown  
  Stone Walls Non Mortared:
inferred absent  
  Stone Walls Mortared:
inferred absent  
  Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present  
  Modern Fortification:
unknown  
  Moat:
present  
  Fortified Camp:
unknown  
  Earth Rampart:
present  
  Ditch:
unknown  
  Complex Fortification:
unknown  
  Long Wall:
absent  
Military use of Metals
  Steel:
unknown  
  Iron:
inferred present  
  Copper:
inferred present  
  Bronze:
inferred present  
Projectiles
  Tension Siege Engine:
inferred absent  
  Sling Siege Engine:
inferred absent  
  Sling:
inferred absent  
  Self Bow:
present  
  Javelin:
inferred present  
  Handheld Firearm:
inferred present  
  Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
inferred present  
  Crossbow:
present  
  Composite Bow:
present  
  Atlatl:
absent  
Handheld weapons
  War Club:
inferred absent  
  Sword:
inferred present  
  Spear:
inferred present  
  Polearm:
inferred present  
  Dagger:
inferred present  
  Battle Axe:
inferred absent  
Animals used in warfare
  Horse:
unknown  
  Elephant:
present  
  Donkey:
inferred absent  
  Dog:
inferred absent  
  Camel:
inferred absent  
Armor
  Wood Bark Etc:
unknown  
  Shield:
inferred present  
  Scaled Armor:
unknown  
  Plate Armor:
unknown  
  Limb Protection:
unknown  
  Leather Cloth:
unknown  
  Laminar Armor:
unknown  
  Helmet:
inferred present  
  Chainmail:
unknown  
  Breastplate:
unknown  
Naval technology
  Specialized Military Vessel:
unknown  
  Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
unknown  
  Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown  
Religion Tolerance Nothing coded yet.
Human Sacrifice Nothing coded yet.
Crisis Consequences Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions Nothing coded yet.

NGA Settlements:

Year Range Rattanakosin (th_rattanakosin) was in:
 (1782 CE 1873 CE)   Cambodian Basin
Home NGA: Cambodian Basin

General Variables
Identity and Location

Original Name:
Rattanakosin

[1]

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 31)


Capital:
Rattanakosin

Also known as Bangkok, Krungthep [1] . Rattanakosin Kingdom founded in 1782 with the establishment of Rattanakosin as the capital city (modern day Bangkok). [2]

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 27, 31)

[2]: (177) Stricklin, W. 2020. The Prince and I - Miss Olive. Dorrance Publishing.


Alternative Name:
Bangkok Empire

[1]

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 26)

Alternative Name:
Krungthep

[1]

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 26)


Temporal Bounds
Peak Years:
[1,793 CE ➜ 1,810 CE]

The reign of Rama I, after the Thai-Burmese wars of 1785-1793. "By the turn of the century, then, we might conclude that Rama I’s Siam was settling down as a stable, enduring empire, at least in the minds of those who lived within its compass. Economically, a profitable trade with China was developing, involving mainly the exchange of Siamese surplus rice production for Chinese luxury goods and crockery (and indeterminate amounts of copper and silver). Bangkok prospered on the growth of his trade" [1] . Moreover, "[i]t was a period notable for its cosmopolitan literary taste, a period when a wide range of classics was translated from other Asian languages, and, in a sense, appropriated as part of Siamese literary tradition" [1] . Finally, "even Siam’s tributary states seemed willing subordinates in a Bangkok-centred world" [2] .

[1]: (Wyatt 1984, p. 154)

[2]: (Wyatt 1984, p. 155)


Duration:
[1,782 CE ➜ 1,873 CE]

"In April 1782, [what remained of the Ayutthaya aristocracy] [...] placed Thongduang on the throne as King Yotfa" [1] . "In the months preceding and following his second coronation as king in his own right (November 1873), Chulalongkorn began a series of reforms that displayed his modern sentiments and intentions" [2] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 27)

[2]: (Wyatt 1984, p. 192)


Political and Cultural Relations
Suprapolity Relations:
vassalage to [---]

"Vassalage" seems to be the Seshat category that most closely fits the supra-polity relations of Rattanakosin, but perhaps it is too simple a label, especially considered in comparison with the following. "Working from the outer layers inward, we encounter first a circle of semi-independent rulers who did little more than pay tribute to Bangkok on a regular basis and who often paid tribute to other states as well. [...] A second tier of states, or perhaps more properly principalities, was relatively more integrated into the Siamese system. In addition to paying tribute, they often were required to provide Siam with manpower to warfare or public works, paid relatively larger amounts in tribute, sometimes were married into the Siamese royal family, and occasionally suffered Siamese interference in their internal affairs. [...] The next layer consisted of large regional centers around Siam’s periphery, ruled by chaophraya and considered to be major, but quasi-independent, provinces. [...]" A fourth tier were small polities with hereditary rulers, who paid ’nominal’ and provided manpower when needed. "Finally, the inner core of the kingdom consisted of provinces properly speaking, ruled by officials appointed from the capital [...] and subjected to the regulation of the central government through the chief ministries of state." [1]

[1]: (Wyatt 1984, pp. 159-160)


Supracultural Entity:
Indianized Southeast Asia

"Together with Burma and Thailand, Cambodia is part of that large area of Southeast Asia in which Indian cultural influence was the sociologically dominant and formative force." [1]

[1]: (Bunnag 1991, p. 161)


Succeeding Entity:
Rattanakosin - Reform Period

"In the months preceding and following his second coronation as king in his own right (November 1873), Chulalongkorn began a series of reforms that displayed his modern sentiments and intentions" [1] .

[1]: (Wyatt 1984, p. 192)


Scale of Supracultural Interaction:
2,175,000 km2

Relationship to Preceding Entity:
continuity

"The new regime portrayed itself as a restoration of Ayutthayan tradition [...]. The capital was moved across the river to Bangkok, and built on similar principles to Ayutthaya--an island created by closing a river meander with a canal. The word Ayutthaya was inscribed in the city’s official name. The remains of shattered Ayutthayan monuments were brought to the city and incorporated into its new buildings. All surviving manuscripts were sought out and complied into recensions of laws, histories, religious texts, and manuals on the practice of every aspect of government." [1]

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 27)


Preceding Entity:
Ayutthaya [th_ayutthaya] ---> Rattanakosin [th_rattanakosin]

"The new regime portrayed itself as a restoration of Ayutthayan tradition [...]. The capital was moved across the river to Bangkok, and built on similar principles to Ayutthaya--an island created by closing a river meander with a canal. The word Ayutthaya was inscribed in the city’s official name. The remains of shattered Ayutthayan monuments were brought to the city and incorporated into its new buildings. All surviving manuscripts were sought out and complied into recensions of laws, histories, religious texts, and manuals on the practice of every aspect of government." [1]

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 27)


Degree of Centralization:
confederated state

"Working from the outer layers inward, we encounter first a circle of semi-independent rulers who did little more than pay tribute to Bangkok on a regular basis and who often paid tribute to other states as well. [...] A second tier of states, or perhaps more properly principalities, was relatively more integrated into the Siamese system. In addition to paying tribute, they often were required to provide Siam with manpower to warfare or public works, paid relatively larger amounts in tribute, sometimes were married into the Siamese royal family, and occasionally suffered Siamese interference in their internal affairs. [...] The next layer consisted of large regional centers around Siam’s periphery, ruled by chaophraya and considered to be major, but quasi-independent, provinces. [...]" A fourth tier were small polities with hereditary rulers, who paid ’nominal’ and provided manpower when needed. "Finally, the inner core of the kingdom consisted of provinces properly speaking, ruled by officials appointed from the capital [...] and subjected to the regulation of the central government through the chief ministries of state." [1]

[1]: (Wyatt 1984, pp. 159-160)


Language

[1]

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, pp. 63-64)


Religion

Social Complexity Variables
Social Scale
Population of the Largest Settlement:
[50,000 to 100,000] people

Inhabitants. "We know that in 1782, there was already some settlement on both banks of the river. Rama I chose for his new capital, and by the end of the first reign it would be unreasonable to suppose the capital had more than 50,000 or so. Terwiel’s work suggests that at the Bowring Treaty (1855) Bangkok’s population may have reached around 50,000-100,000. These are, of course, only very rough estimates, and it is well known that the river dwelling population makes it impossible to seek much more." [1]

[1]: (Ouyyanont 1997, p. 241)


Polity Territory:
513,120 km2

in squared kilometers. A map provided by Wyatt [1] suggests that the territory governed by Rattanakosin, tributary states included, corresponded roughly to modern-day Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. According to Google, the current size of each of these is, respectively, 513,120 km2, 236,800 km2, and 181,035 km2, for a total of 930,955 km2. However, the below population estimate probably only applies to the core region, which would have corresponded with Thailand.

[1]: (Wyatt 1984, p. 159)


Polity Population:
[1,000,000 to 3,000,000] people
1800 CE

People. "Evidence for the size and distribution of the population before the first census in 1911 is sparse and far from reliable. Estimates for the 1800-20 period vary from 1 to 3 million (Skinner, 1957:79; Sternstein, 1993:18). A detailed examination of the evidence by Sternstein (1965:1984) suggests very gradual growth from the 1780s to reach a population a little short of 5 million by the middle of the nineteenth century." [1] It is not clear whether this estimate covers tributary states.

[1]: (Dixon 2002, p. xxxii)

Polity Population:
[4,000,000 to 5,000,000] people
1850 CE

People. "Evidence for the size and distribution of the population before the first census in 1911 is sparse and far from reliable. Estimates for the 1800-20 period vary from 1 to 3 million (Skinner, 1957:79; Sternstein, 1993:18). A detailed examination of the evidence by Sternstein (1965:1984) suggests very gradual growth from the 1780s to reach a population a little short of 5 million by the middle of the nineteenth century." [1] It is not clear whether this estimate covers tributary states.

[1]: (Dixon 2002, p. xxxii)


Hierarchical Complexity
Settlement Hierarchy:
4

levels.
1. Capital2. Great cities (mahanakhon)3. Towns4. Villages.
The first period of the Rattanakosin era (1781-1868) maintained a similar administrative hierarchy to that of the 4-tiered pattern of the Ayutthaya kingdom: 1. Royal Capital; 2. Four towns under the administration of the king (muang luk-luang); 3. Other towns under administration of governors (muang phraya-maha-nakhon); 4. Outlying towns or colonies (muang prathetsarat) which sent tributes to the king. In the late eighteenth century the second tier of inner-ring towns was absorbed into the capital. [1]

[1]: (73) Wongsekiarttirat, W. Central-Local Relations in Thailand: Bureaucratic Centralism and Democratization. In, Turner, M. (ed) 2016. Central-Local Relations in Asia-Pacific: Convergence or Divergence? Springer.


Religious Level:
6

levels. [1]
1. Somdet Phra Sangharat (Supreme Patriarch)
2. Chao kana yai (Sangha general governors.There were three.
3. Phraracha kana"[T]he heads of monks in the capital and important provinces". [2]
4. Phra khru"The head monks of the lesser provinces". [2]
5. Abbots
6. Ordinary monks

[1]: (Suksamran 1982, pp. 31-32)

[2]: (Suksamran 1982, p. 32)


Military Level:
5

levels. "Ranks and titles were conferred on the bureaucratic and military nobility until the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932, a rank and title usually being associated with an office. The chaophraya were highest on the list, the equivalents of cabinet ministers, generals, and the governors of the most important provincial cities. On a descending scale came phraya, phra, luang, and khun." [1]
1. Chaophraya
2. Phraya
3. Phra
4. Luang
5. Khun

[1]: (Wyatt 1984, p. xviii)


Administrative Level:
6

levels. "Ranks and titles were conferred on the bureaucratic and military nobility until the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932, a rank and title usually being associated with an office. The chaophraya were highest on the list, the equivalents of cabinet ministers, generals, and the governors of the most important provincial cities. On a descending scale came phraya, phra, luang, and khun." [1] Presumably the king should be added to this hierarchy--RA’s guess.
1. King
2. Chaophraya
3. Phraya
4. Phra
5. Luang
6. Khun

[1]: (Wyatt 1984, p. xviii)


Professions
Professional Soldier:
absent

The Thai standing army dates to 1905 [1] , although perhaps the king’s personal guard should count as being made up of professional soldiers?

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 62)


Professional Priesthood:
present

Referring to Rama I: "[o]ne of his first actions was to reestablish the Buddhist monkhood." [1]

[1]: (Wyatt 1984, p. 146)


Professional Military Officer:
absent

Referring to the early modern period, Charney [1] writes that "[c]ontemporary European accounts also sometimes refer to what appear to be highly organized command hierarchies. The Siamese army command in the 1680s, for example, was described by Gervaise as consisting of a ’commander-in-chief, a deputy general, several captains with their lieutenants and some subalterns.’ In actuality, members of the nobility through ad hoc appointments led Southeast Asian armies. These men were usually personal favorites of the ruler or one of his relatives, or were outlying lords obligated to bring local levies to participate in campaigns. One reason for this was the concern that otherwise a regular officer class on a permanent footing would become part of the court and ministerial politics that plagued early modern Southeast Asian states." Because the Thai army was reformed only in the early twentieth century [2] , it is reasonable to infer that there were no professional military officers throughout the late eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries.

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 237)

[2]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 62)


Bureaucracy Characteristics
Specialized Government Building:
absent

"Government was carried out in the homes of officials" [1] .

[1]: (Wyatt 1984, p. 186)


Merit Promotion:
absent

Thai bureaucracy was extensively reformed between the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century [1] . It seems reasonable to infer that, before the reforms, Rattanakosin bureaucracy resembled Ayutthayan bureaucracy. Specifically, "[e]ntry into the official ranks was a noble preserve. Families presented their sons at court, where they were enrolled as pages. Ascent up the ladder of success then depended on personal skill, family connections, and royal favour" [2] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 96)

[2]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 15)


Full Time Bureaucrat:
present

A form of bureaucracy had existed in Thailand since Ayutthayan times [1] . Thai bureaucracy was extensively reformed between the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century [2] . It seems reasonable to infer that, before the reforms, Rattanakosin bureaucracy resembled Ayutthayan bureaucracy. Specifically, "[s]enior officials might also be awarded people and maybe land or its product. [...] Nobles [in charge of administration] were expected to live from these grants, and from whatever income they could make through their status and office--mostly by taking a percentage of revenues collected, or charging fees for judicial work" [1] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 15)

[2]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 96)


Examination System:
absent

Thai bureaucracy was extensively reformed between the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century [1] . It seems reasonable to infer that, before the reforms, Rattanakosin bureaucracy resembled Ayutthayan bureaucracy. Specifically, "[e]ntry into the official ranks was a noble preserve. Families presented their sons at court, where they were enrolled as pages. Ascent up the ladder of success then depended on personal skill, family connections, and royal favour" [2] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 96)

[2]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 15)


Law
Professional Lawyer:
present

Inferred from the fact that attorneys existed in Ayutthaya (as suggested, for example, by the following seventeenth-century mention: ""The accusations and defences are brought before the courts of the Berckelangh and Mathip by the plaintiff or defendant or by attorneys, verbally or in writing" [1] ), and the fact that the legal reforms of Rama I built on preceding legal traditions [2] .

[1]: (Van Ravenswaay 1910, p. 70)

[2]: (Wyatt 1984, pp. 146-147)


Judges were part of the commission that Rama I appointed in 1805 "to examine the entire corpus of Siamese law." [1]

[1]: (Wyatt 1984, pp. 146-147)


Formal Legal Code:
present

"In 1805, [Rama I] appointed a commission of judges and scholars to examine the entire corpus of Siamese law. He directed its members to establish, revise and edit a definitive text of all the laws, after which ’His Majesty would himself strive to revise those laws that were irregular or defective so that they would be in accordance with justice.’ The resulting code, the Three Seals Laws, served the state for the next century." [1]

[1]: (Wyatt 1984, pp. 146-147)


Court:
present

Inferred from the fact that courts existed in Ayutthaya (as suggested, among other things, by the following seventeenth-century mention: "Besides [the Ayutthaya equivalent of a Supreme Court], there are still several courts of justice, as that of oya Berckelangh, who is attorney to the court and judge for all foreigners, further opraa Mathip Mamontry, who is chief of the court where all civil questions and all ordinary cases are pleaded and decided; oya Syserputh is permanent chief of the court where all secret and uncertain cases, criminal and civil are treated and decided by ordeal" [1] ), and the fact that the legal reforms of Rama I built on preceding legal traditions [2] .

[1]: (Van Ravenswaay 1910, p. 70)

[2]: (Wyatt 1984, pp. 146-147)


Specialized Buildings: polity owned
Market:
present

Inferred from Thailand’s importance within international trade networks: "Bangkok was a royal city, main religious centre, and port of international trade." [1]

[1]: (Ouyyanont 1997, p. 240)


Irrigation System:
present

"The muang fai irrigation system was used on fast flowing streams up to twenty metres in width, across which weirs elevated water by up to two or more metres. The fai held back water which was directed to major and minor canals known as muang in which gates, tang, controlled flow rates. Where a muang could be constructed by diverting water from a river, no fai was needed. Constructed from bamboo and woodern stakes driven into the river bed against which rocks, poles and sand were placed, the fai allowed water to pass through and over the barrier while restricting the rate of flow and thus raising the water level." [1]

[1]: (Falvey 2000, p. 113)


Drinking Water Supply System:
present

Inferred from the fact that such a thing seems to have first been established in the polity in the seventeenth century. Falvey [1] writes of "the construction of the first storage irrigation system in 1633 in Ayutthaya, an echo of the Khmer storage barai". "Each water-based feature fulfilled several functions. Barays provided agricultural and domestic water, and fish and plant foods. Canals channeled water for public sanitation, and transport arteries. Embankments and dikes were usually oriented east-west following the contours and acted both as levees ti control floods and elevated causeways for roads. Moats surrounding temples, monuments, and inhabited areas also fulfilled several functions: they served as sacred boundaries, they were a source of domestic water and food, and they provided fill for foundations to raise the level of the terrain for drainage and protection. Access to domestic water was provided by tanks and basins dug into the water table.’ [2]

[1]: (Falvey 2000, p. 129)

[2]: (Engelhardt 1995, p.25)


Transport Infrastructure
Road:
absent
1782 CE 1857 CE

"The first road was built in 1857, but in 1890 there was still only nine miles. By 1900, a rapidly expanding road network was lined by the palaces and mansions of the bureaucracy, and the shophouses of the mercantile Chinese" [1] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 99)

Road:
present
1857 CE 1873 CE

"The first road was built in 1857, but in 1890 there was still only nine miles. By 1900, a rapidly expanding road network was lined by the palaces and mansions of the bureaucracy, and the shophouses of the mercantile Chinese" [1] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 99)


Reference to "ports on the peninsula" [1] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 28)


"In the 1830s, canals were built east and west from Bangkok to serve as highways for trade and military movements" [1] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 48)


Bridge:
present

Inferred from the fact that bridges existed in Ayutthaya [1] and it does not seem like a type of technology that can be easily forgotten.

[1]: http://www.ayutthaya-history.com/Geo_Street_BridgesKhaoPluak.html


Special-purpose Sites
Mines or Quarry:
present

"Around the gulf and down the peninsula, the port towns were dominated by Chinese, some of whom spread inland to plant rubber, grow pepper, and mine tin." [1]

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 33)


Information / Writing System
Written Record:
present

For example, Rama I’s "laws, decrees, and proclamations, as well as [...] his literary and religious compilations" [1] .

[1]: (Wyatt 1984, p. 147)


Script:
present

"Thai is a tonal language that has an alphabetic orthography with 44 basic consonants plus 4 archaic consonants1 for 21 consonant sounds." [1]

[1]: (Winskel 2010, p. 1023)


Phonetic Alphabetic Writing:
present

"Thai has a high degree of consistency in mapping between phonemes and graphemes but there are multigrapheme to phoneme correspondences for some consonants [...] In addition, there is a change in grapheme-phoneme correspondences of consonants when they occur in final position. [...] In addition, there are orthographic class-change clusters, in which the first consonant of the cluster,  or  is silent, and is used to change the class of consonant to a high or middle class expression with a corresponding change in tone [...] Thai does have additional irregularities, which include silent consonants and vowels that are not pronounced" [1] .

[1]: (Winskel 2010, p. 1023)


Nonwritten Record:
present

"The murals of the capital’s wat increasingly portrayed the city itself, capturing the busyness of daily life as the background of scenes from the Buddha’s life, and occasionally including views of the city, landmarks such as the river, characteristic architecture such as the Chinese shophouse, and even records of historical events" [1] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 37)


Information / Kinds of Written Documents
Scientific Literature:
present

"During his restoration of Wat Phrachettuphon (Wat Pho), started in the year of the python, 1832, King Rama III ensured this continuity for many generations to come, by having all available knowledge of the finest quality in the fields of art, letters, technical skills, medicine, and other disciplines engraved on stone plaques and fixed to the walls of the buildings of this Royal wat (temple), so that it would be accessible to all. The inscriptions on medicine at Wat Pho include hundreds of ancient texts as well as dozens of illustrated diagrams of the human body showing the points on the body used in the practice of Thai massage, and verses describing exercises demonstrated by statues of yogis performing them." [1]

[1]: (Mulholland 1979, pp. 82-83)


Sacred Text:
present

"[Rama I] further encouraged the working harmony of the monkhood by sponsoring ecclesiastical commissions to consider textual questions, which culminated in 1788-89 in the convening of a grand council to establish a definitive text of the Pali-language Tipitaka, the scriptures of Buddhism" [1] .

[1]: (Wyatt 1984, p. 146)


Religious Literature:
present

Rama I authored "religious compilations" [1] .

[1]: (Wyatt 1984, p. 147)


Practical Literature:
present

Manuals for the proper conduct of women--both conservative and progressive: "Suphasit son ying (’Saying for ladies’), a mid-19th century manual probably authored by Sunthon Phu, differed from earlier such manuals which taught wives how to minister submissively to their husbands. It recognized that more upper-class women wanted a say in selecting a husband, and advised them how to choose wisely. It instructed them in how to contribute to the family business activity, which was increasingly important for women of this class." [1]

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 44)


Philosophy:
present

If Buddhist texts may be classified as "philosophical".


Lists Tables and Classification:
present

"The conventional yardstick used to differentiate people was language. Foreigners as a category were called the people of the ’12 languages’ or ’40 languages’. In the 1830s, these were partly catalogues in a display at Bangkok’s Wat Pho, with 27 different peoples each portrayed on a door panel and described in an accompanying poem." [1]

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 62)


History:
present

Chao Phraya Thiphakorawong "penned a new version of the royal chronicles which described kings making history rather than reacting to omens and fate" [1] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 41)


Fiction:
present

"A new popular literature, which flourished as the city began to prosper in the 1820s, reflected new values. Heroes included ordinary people, not just the princes and gods that dominated Ayutthayan works. They were not so constricted by birth and fate, but had the ability to make their own lives. Romantic love was portrayed as more personal, and less constrained by family, tradition, and status." [1]

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 36)


Calendar:
present

King Mongkut "ordered the use of regnal years for the calendar" [1] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 50)


Information / Money

According to Van Dongen [1] , "payments in kind and payment in cowries continued to be common everywhere among the general population." And "[v]arious gambling houses [...] issued their own counters of suitable shapes and durability, bearing their own marks to guarantee their validity for cash at the end of the game. These chips or counters were also in circulation in lucrative transactions within and around the gambling houses, and, if the credit confidence of the Khun Phattanasombat was good, these eventually came to be accepted as money even in the areas beyond the operating spheres of the establishments." [2]

[1]: (Van Dongen, no publication year, p. 9)

[2]: (Van Dongen, no publication year, p. 13)


Precious Metal:
absent

Inferred from the fact that these are not mentioned in Van Dongen’s detailed lists of all the types of "money" circulating in Thailand in the Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin periods.


Paper Currency:
absent
1782 CE 1862 CE

"Machine-minted coins and printed paper money appeared in 1862, when the imported cowries were officially taken out of circulation." [1]

[1]: (Van Dongen, no publication year, p. 10)

Paper Currency:
present
1862 CE 1873 CE

"Machine-minted coins and printed paper money appeared in 1862, when the imported cowries were officially taken out of circulation." [1]

[1]: (Van Dongen, no publication year, p. 10)


Indigenous Coin:
present

"The Thai kingdom of Sukhothai introduced the pot-duang, popularly known to the West as ’bullet coins’. These continued to be used throughout Central Thailand, even under the historical successors of Sukhothai, from Ayutthaya down to the present kingdom of Rattanakosin (Bangkok)." [1]

[1]: (Van Dongen, no publication year, pp. 8-9)


Foreign Coin:
present

"Chinese sycee money, Japanese silver coins and even European and American money, were readily accepted for international trade" [1] .

[1]: (Van Dongen, no publication year, p. 9)


Article:
absent

Inferred from the fact that these are not mentioned in Van Dongen’s detailed lists of all the types of "money" circulating in Thailand in the Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin periods.


Information / Postal System
General Postal Service:
present

"The inland mail service of the Thai Government in its state up to the middle of the XIX century must be looked at as originating with the administrative reforms carried out by King Trailok (1448-1488), who created five civil ministries. One of these particularly cared for the transportation of government letters." [1] However, it was probably quite a simple service: the Court had no communications outside the country until King Mongkut started a voluminous correspondence with European countries, and an internal mail only started in Bangkok in 1881 [2] .

[1]: (Lindenberg 1944, p.78)

[2]: (http://www.sandafayre.com/stampatlas/thailandsiam.html)


Information / Measurement System

Warfare Variables (Military Technologies)
Fortifications
Wooden Palisade:
unknown

No references in the literature.


Stone Walls Non Mortared:
absent

Inferred from the fact that, in early modern times, there had been a shift from stone fortification to brick fortification: "Aside from occasional exceptions, [...] stone fortifications do not appear to have been favored after the classical period. [...] Building stone walls was time-consuming and probably expensive. The stone was difficult to procure and to work, whereas brick was much more readily produced. a transition from stone to brick in temple building from the classical period into the early modern period was thus accompanied by the same general shift in fortification building." [1]

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 79)


Stone Walls Mortared:
absent

Inferred from the fact that, in early modern times, there had been a shift from stone fortification to brick fortification: "Aside from occasional exceptions, [...] stone fortifications do not appear to have been favored after the classical period. [...] Building stone walls was time-consuming and probably expensive. The stone was difficult to procure and to work, whereas brick was much more readily produced. a transition from stone to brick in temple building from the classical period into the early modern period was thus accompanied by the same general shift in fortification building." [1]

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 79)


Settlements in a Defensive Position:
present

Rattanakosin itself was built on "an island created by a closing a river with a canal" [1] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 27)


Modern Fortification:
unknown

No references in the literature.


"Rattanakosin Island, where King Rama I established the Royal Palace in 1782, was created by the digging of a defensive canal/moat which joined with the Chao Phraya River at the north and south and encircled the royal settlement." [1]

[1]: (Bristol 2010, 117) Graeme Bristol. Rendered invisible. Urban planning, cultural heritage and human rights. Michele Langfield. William Logan. Mairead Nic Craith. eds. 2010. Cultural Diversity, Heritage and Human Rights: Intersections in Theory and Practice. Routledge. London.


Fortified Camp:
unknown

No references in the literature.


Earth Rampart:
present

In early modern times, there had been a shift from stone fortification to brick fortification: "Aside from occasional exceptions, [...] stone fortifications do not appear to have been favored after the classical period. [...] Building stone walls was time-consuming and probably expensive. The stone was difficult to procure and to work, whereas brick was much more readily produced. a transition from stone to brick in temple building from the classical period into the early modern period was thus accompanied by the same general shift in fortification building." [1]

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 79)


No references in the literature.


Complex Fortification:
unknown

No references in the literature.



Military use of Metals

No references in the literature. Polity expert Charles Higham "I dont think there was ever a transition to steel but will ask the iron expert, Oliver Pryce for his view." (pers. comm. with Harvey Whitehouse 04/08/2017)


Inferred from the fact that iron was used in Thai warfare at least as early as the 1690s: "By the 1690s, the Siamese were hammering cannon out of cold iron." [1] .

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 59)


Earlier polities used bronze military technology, so this polity probably used copper too.


Earlier polities used bronze military technology, so this polity probably did too.


Projectiles
Tension Siege Engine:
absent

Inferred from the fact that tension siege engines do not feature among the "personal weapons" mentioned in Charney’s [1] comprehensive summary of Southeast Asian military technology and organisation between the early modern period and the nineteenth century, or indeed in his descriptions of sieges where the Thai were the attackers.

[1]: (Charney 2004)


Sling Siege Engine:
absent

Inferred from the fact that tension siege engines do not feature among the "personal weapons" mentioned in Charney’s [1] comprehensive summary of Southeast Asian military technology and organisation between the early modern period and the nineteenth century, or indeed in his descriptions of sieges where the Thai were the attackers.

[1]: (Charney 2004)


Inferred from the fact that slings do not feature among the "personal weapons" mentioned in Charney’s [1] comprehensive summary of Southeast Asian military technology and organisation between the early modern period and the nineteenth century.

[1]: (Charney 2004)


Referring to Southeast Asia generally, the "bow and arrow survived as a standard weapon into the nineteenth century" [1] . Bow type not specified, however.

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 35)


Inferred from the fact that javelins were already used in Thai warfare in the early modern period: "The javelin was also fairly well distributed across the mainland and the archipelago. We find its use among the Siamese", among others [1] .

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 28)


Handheld Firearm:
present

Inferred from the fact that handheld firearms were already in use in the early modern period: a Royal procession observed by a European source around 1630 included "800 to 1,000 men armed with pikes, knives, arrows, bows and muskets" [1] .

[1]: (Quaritch Wales 1931, p. 206)


Gunpowder Siege Artillery:
present

In the mid-1830s, British officers "counted the cannon around the palaces" [1] .

[1]: (Baker and Phongpaichit 2009, p. 40)


"The crossbow remained in use up through the nineteenth century in the mainland" of South-East Asia [1] .

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 36)


Composite Bow:
present

Referring to Southeast Asia generally, the "bow and arrow survived as a standard weapon into the nineteenth century" [1] . Bow type not specified, however.

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 35)


New World weapon


Handheld weapons

Inferred from the fact that war clubs do not feature among the "personal weapons" mentioned in Charney’s [1] comprehensive summary of Southeast Asian military technology and organisation between the early modern period and the nineteenth century.

[1]: (Charney 2004)


swords, pikes, spears and daggers are the only "personal weapons" mentioned in Charney’s [1] comprehensive summary of Southeast Asian military technology and organisation between the early modern period and the nineteenth century.

[1]: (Charney 2004)


Inferred from the fact that spears were used in the early modern period: the "Siamese were said to have used a paired-spear" [1] .

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 28)


Inferred from the fact that pikes were already in use in the early modern period: a Royal procession observed by a European source around 1630 included "800 to 1,000 men armed with pikes, knives, arrows, bows and muskets" [1] .

[1]: (Quaritch Wales 1931, p. 206)


Inferred from the fact that daggers were already in use in the early modern period: a Royal procession observed by a European source around 1630 included "800 to 1,000 men armed with pikes, knives, arrows, bows and muskets" [1] .

[1]: (Quaritch Wales 1931, p. 206)


Battle Axe:
absent

Inferred from the fact that war clubs do not feature among the "personal weapons" mentioned in Charney’s [1] comprehensive summary of Southeast Asian military technology and organisation between the early modern period and the nineteenth century.

[1]: (Charney 2004)


Animals used in warfare

No references in the literature.


"War elephants survived in Southeast Asia longer than anywhere else. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries they were employed to some extent in the armies of Burma, Cambodia, Siam, Vietnam, Laos and Malaysia." [1]

[1]: (Schliesinger 2015, p. 36)


Inferred from the fact that horses and elephants are the only animals mentioned in Charney’s [1] comprehensive summary of Southeast Asian military technology and organisation between the early modern period and the nineteenth century.

[1]: (Charney 2004)


Inferred from the fact that horses and elephants are the only animals mentioned in Charney’s [1] comprehensive summary of Southeast Asian military technology and organisation between the early modern period and the nineteenth century.

[1]: (Charney 2004)


Inferred from the fact that horses and elephants are the only animals mentioned in Charney’s [1] comprehensive summary of Southeast Asian military technology and organisation between the early modern period and the nineteenth century.

[1]: (Charney 2004)


Armor
Wood Bark Etc:
unknown

No references in the literature.


Inferred from the fact that, in the early modern period, shields "were commonplace among the Burmese, Siamese, Javanese [...] and almost every other Southeast Asian society for which we have evidence throughout the early modern period" [1]

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 39)


Scaled Armor:
unknown

No references in the literature.


Plate Armor:
unknown

No references in the literature.


Limb Protection:
unknown

No references in the literature.


Leather Cloth:
unknown

No references identified in the literature.


Laminar Armor:
unknown

No references in the literature.


Inferred from the fact that helmets were already used in the early modern period: "Siamese levies donned helmets made of leather in 1680s Ayudhya." [1]

[1]: (Charney 2004, p. 39)


Chainmail:
unknown

No references in the literature.


Breastplate:
unknown

No references in the literature.


Naval technology
Specialized Military Vessel:
unknown

No references in the literature.


Small Vessels Canoes Etc:
unknown

No references in the literature.


Merchant Ships Pressed Into Service:
unknown

No references in the literature.



Human Sacrifice Data
Human Sacrifice is the deliberate and ritualized killing of a person to please or placate supernatural entities (including gods, spirits, and ancestors) or gain other supernatural benefits.
- Nothing coded yet.
Power Transitions