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Martaban Jars from Myanmar were a common commodity in the Southeast Asian maritime trade network, and their originating kiln sites may have just been found in Mon state.

A researcher looks at a potential Martaban Jar in Mon State, Myanmar Times 20121126

A researcher looks at a potential Martaban Jar in Mon State, Myanmar Times 20121126

More clues to Martaban jar mystery
Myanmar Times, 26 November 2012

Today Myanmar is famed for its gems, jade, gas and teak but in the 15th century, it was known across the region – and as far away as the Middle East and Europe – for another commodity: Martaban jars.

However, the location of the kilns where the jars were made has been something of a mystery, although that appears to have changed.

U Chan Thar, a resident of Min village in Kawkareik township, Kayin State, told The Myanmar Times on the sidelines of a Mon archaeological seminar in Mawlamyine on Saturday, November 3 and Sunday, November 4 that more than 50 pottery furnaces have been uncovered in villages alongside the road between Kawkareik and Kyaikmayaw in Mon State since 2004.

He said there are thought to many more ancient kilns in the area and it appears likely they were used to make the Martaban jars. Each of the kilns uncovered is about 30 metres (100 feet) long and wide, and 4.5 to 6m (15 to 20 feet) high, he said.

“We heard about Martaban jars since we were young but had never come across any pottery furnaces. These were only uncovered when a bulldozer was used to flatten the ground for the construction of the road. When the first few were found, the news spread and more were found in almost all villages in the townships,” he said.

Full story here.

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