An archaeological dig next to Wat Chom Chuen revealed ceramics, charcoal and 15 human skeletons dating from the 4th to 11th centuries.
Excavation commenced in 1988 after bone fragments were discovered in the vicinity of Wat Chom Chuen, a site that predates the Sukhothai period. It’s thought that the people who lived here were from the Dvaravati, a Mon-speaking civilisation that first appeared around the third century. The discovery proved that the settlement which eventually became Chaliang existed long before the Khmer empire or Sukhothai kingdom came along.
Unearthed at a depth of seven to eight metres, the skeletons are now displayed exactly as they were found in a large pit sheltered by a pavilion. Visitors can walk out on footbridges to view the remains from a few metres away.
Next to the roofed archaeological site, Wat Chom Chuen itself is a small ruin with a laterite stupa and mondop.
How to get there
Wat Chom Chuen is located on the riverside lane, about a half-kilometre west of Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat. Admission is 100 baht.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 17th June, 2016.