Padah-Lin Caves

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Padah-Lin Caves (Burmese: ဗဒလင်းဂူ, pronounced: [bədəlíɴ ɡù]; also Padalin or Badalin[1]) are limestone caves located in Taunggyi District, Shan State, Burma (Myanmar). It is located near a path from Nyaunggyat to Yebock,[2] on a spur of the Nwalabo mountains within the Panlaung Reserved Forest.[3] There are two caves; the smaller of the two is a rockshelter while the larger cave comprises nine chambers connected by narrow passages in a north-south axis, three large sink holes that let natural light in, and several active speleothem formations.[4]

Padah-Lin Cave 1 sign showing the layout of the cave and some of the rock art
Cupules at Padah-Lin Cave 1
Buddhist stupa at Padah-Lin Cave 1


A superficial investigation of the caves in Shan State had been performed by the American South-East Expedition for Early Man in 1937–1938, and geologist U Khin Maung Kyaw discovered the paintings in 1960.[3] In 1969–1972, the Burmese government organized a more in-depth investigation,[3] and another expedition to the caves was mounted in 2004.[1]

This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on 4 October 1996 in the Cultural category.[5]


Red ochre paintings of human hands, fish, bulls, bison, deer and other objects are visible at the rockshelter.[5] The art has not been directly dated. The walls of the cave have also been decorated with carved patterns.[6] More than 300 cupules have been documented in the rockshelter.[1]

Excavations at the rockshelter in 1969-1972 recovered seven pieces of charcoal and bone that were radiocarbon dated to between 1,750 and 13,000 years BP.[4] The excavation also recovered over 1600 stone artifacts as well as many pieces of bone and red ochre.[3] The stone artifacts include unifacial choppers, bifacial chopping tools, perforated stone rings, adzes and scrapers.[4]

A small Buddhist stupa has been erected at the eastern end of the rockshelter, and several stupas of varying sizes have been built in the chambers of the cave.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Tacon, Paul S. C.; Yee Yee Aung; Thorne, Alan (2004), "Myanmar prehistory: rare rock-markings revealed", Archaeology in Oceania, 39 (3): 138–139 
  2. ^ Whitley, David S. (2001), Handbook of Rock Art Research, Rowman Altamira, p. 770, ISBN 978-0-7425-0256-7 
  3. ^ a b c d Aung Thaw (1969), "The 'neolithic' culture of the Padah-Lin Caves" (PDF), Journal of Burma Research Society, 52 (1): 9–23 
  4. ^ a b c Aung Thaw (1971), "The "Neolithic" Culture of the Padah-lin Caves", Asian Perspectives, 14: 123–133 
  5. ^ a b Badah-lin and associated caves - UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Retrieved 2009-03-03.
  6. ^ Yee Yee Aung (2008), "New discoveries in the Badah-lin caves, Myanmar", 12th International Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists, Leiden, The Netherlands .

Coordinates: 21°6′0″N 96°18′0″E / 21.10000°N 96.30000°E / 21.10000; 96.30000