Prehistoric Pottery Found at Ban Chiang, Udonthani Province, Northeast  Thailand 
( ca. 300 BC - AD 200 ) 
 
  For thousand of years, Thailand has been the center of many civilizations.  Evidence of these cultures vary in types and styles.  We are proud to present a few examples of the many distinguished treasures of our past:
  Bodhisattva Avalokitesavara Image 
An important Mahayana Buddhist deity, this bronze statue of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara dates to the 8-9th centuries.  This fine example of Srivijayan art was found at Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya, Surat Thani Province in Southern Thailand.  Considered a masterpiece, it is proudly exhibited at the Bangkok National Museum. 
 
 
  The Emerald Buddha 
The most venerated Buddha image in Thailand is enshrined in the Assembly Hall of Wat Phra Sri Ratana Satsadaram, though it is known to most Thais as Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.  Carved from a large piece of semiprecious green stone, the image measures 48.3 cm from knee to knee and 66 cm  in height.  The Emerald Buddha is seated in the meditation posture on a raised gilded throne designed to resemble the chariot of the celestial beings in Hindu mythology.  Three times a year the reigning king or a prince appointed by the king performs the ritual change of the Emerald Buddha's seasonal attire for the summer, rainy and winter seasons. 
 
  Phra Buddha Sihing 
The Phra Buddha Sihing is highly venerated in Thailand, being regarded as second importance only to the Emerald Buddha.  According to Thai legend, the Buddha witnessed the making of this image.  However, the art style reflects Northern Thai art of the mid-15th century.  The image is enshrined in the Buddhaisawan Chapel in the Bangkok National Museum compound.  Each Thai New Year, the Phra Buddha Sihing is carried in a reverent procession to the Phramane Grounds in front of the Grand Palace where the faithful pay their respects by pouring lustral water over the image. 
 
  Narai Banthom Sin Stone Lintel 
In Khmer temples in Cambodia and Thailand, lintels are crossbeams resting on two upright posts, placed over doors and windows for structural support.  This stone lintel shows Vishnu (Narai in Thai) reclining on the serpent Ananta floating on the cosmic ocean, which represents a scene from Hindu mythology called Vishnu's Cosmic Dream.  Located over the door of the main sanctuary of Phanom Rung, the lintel is in the Angkor Wat style, dating around the middle of the 12th century.  This masterpiece was illegally taken out of Thailand many years ago and shown in a private collection in the USA.  The Thai Government reclaimed it and situated it in its proper place.