2. Prehistoric: Early man at Taungthaman
The site of Taungthaman is located near the 19th century city of Mandalay, on an alluvial terrace of the Irrawaddy River within the walls of the 18th century capital, Amarapura, and was occupied from the late Neolithic through the early iron age, around the middle of the first millennium BC. Many artifacts have been uncovered at Taungthaman such as sophisticated stone tools, intricate ceramic wares, and primitive iron metallurgy. Many of these objects would have been acquired from the prosperity gained through industrious farming and trade. When burying their dead, their new affluence encouraged these people to include among the grave goods fine decorative ceramics produced by specialized potter artisans as well as the more common household objects such as bowls and spoons. Human and animal figures discovered at Taungthaman in the 1970's are thought to have been used for religious practices. If this is so, these artifacts represent the oldest of their kind found in Burma. Although no building in permanent material was discovered at Taungthaman, the excavations uncovered a pattern of post-holes that are the results of buildings having been supported on wooden pilings.
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