Some of the oldest cultural artefacts from Thailand are the uniquely decorated Ban Chiang ceramic pots, believed to be from at least 3600 BC. During the first millennium AD the art of Thailand was heavily influenced by India, with most becoming Hindu before the introduction of Buddhism around the 6th century AD which went on to become the dominant religion, with images of the Buddha being the primary artistic output. Thailand was also influence by the Khmer or Angkor civilisation based in Cambodia, which at its height included a large portion of Northern Thailand. Khmer sculpture, exhibited at Ankor Wat, was itself initially influenced by India though departed to develop its own highly developed style. The influence of this style can be easily recognised in Thai sculpture which promotes ideals of elegance and smoothness.

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