3,500-year-old pumpkin spice? Archaeologists find earliest use of nutmeg as a food

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via UW News, 03 October 2018: Nutmeg residues found in 3,500-year-old ceramics at Pulau Ay in Indonesia.

Found at an archaeological site on Pulau Ay, a small island in the Banda Islands, central Maluku, Indonesia, the nutmeg was found as residue on ceramic potsherds and is estimated to be 3,500 years old — about 2,000 years older than the previously known use of the spice.

The study and two excavations in 2007 and 2009 were led by Peter Lape, professor of anthropology at the University of Washington and curator of archaeology at the Burke Museum, in collaboration with colleagues from Universitas Gadjah Mada in Indonesia, the University of New South Wales in Australia and others.

The Pulau Ay archaeological site was occupied from 2,300 to 3,500 years ago, with animal bones, earthenware pottery, stone tools, and post molds of possible housing structures found. The variety of artifacts discovered provides evidence of changes in how people utilized marine food resources, pottery and domestic animals over time.

Source: 3,500-year-old pumpkin spice? Archaeologists find earliest use of nutmeg as a food | UW News

Categories: Ceramics Indonesia

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[Paper] Portable X-ray fluorescence analysis of ceramic covered boxes from the 12th/13th-century Java Sea Shipwreck

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via Journal of Archaeological Science Reports: Portable XRF analysis of Qingbai from the Java Sea Shipwreck.

Forty-one ceramic boxes from the twelfth- or thirteenth-century Java Sea Shipwreck were analyzed at the Elemental Analysis Facility at Chicago’s Field Museum using nondestructive portable x-ray fluorescence (PXRF). Twenty-two samples have a qingbai-type glaze and nineteen are painted ware with painted black decorations originally covered by a lead-based green glaze. The goals of the analysis were to (1) test whether visually similar ceramics shared similar elemental compositions; (2) identify ceramics that might have been made at different kiln sites (or from different paste recipes); and (3) determine if compositional groups in the ceramic dataset differentiated using PXRF are archaeologically meaningful. Based on this study, although PXRF can be successfully used to some degree to differentiate between different groups of qingbai-type ceramics, more research needs to be done on its applicability to painted ware pastes.

Source: Portable X-ray fluorescence analysis of ceramic covered boxes from the 12th/13th-century Java Sea Shipwreck: A preliminary investigation – ScienceDirect

Ancient Thai Artifacts Returned by American Collector

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via Khaosod English, 02 August 2018: The ceramics returned were from Ban Chiang. Thailand previously repatriated Ban Chiang ceramics from the Bowers Museum in 2014, and is still looking at 14 more artifacts housed in the Honolulu Museum of art.

Prehistoric artifacts dating back thousands of years to some of the earliest people in Southeast Asia have been returned to Thailand by an American collector, officials announced Thursday.

Source: Ancient Thai Artifacts Returned by American Collector
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The Southeast Asian Ceramic Society is looking for old publications

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on behalf of the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society:

A writing of the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society’s history has revealed that they are missing copies of a number of their earlier publications including:

Transactions of the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society, no. 1 (November 1971). | Cook, George C. ”Notes on the Southeast Asian Ceramics Exhibition of 1971”

 Transactions of the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society, no. 3 (1972). | Brown, Roxanna M. “Ceramic Excavations in the Philippines”, 3 pages.

 Transactions of the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society, no. 4 (1974). | Gluckman, Michael. “A Visit to the Phan Kilns in Northern Thailand”

 Transactions of the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society, no. 5 (1974). | Brown, Roxanna M. “The History of Ceramic Finds in Sulawesi: A Talk given by Roxanna Brown at the 36th meeting of the Southeast Ceramic Society, June 12th, 1974.

 Transactions of the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society, no. 6 (19??). | “Research into the Disposition of Ceramic Sites in North Sumatra” (Note: very hard-to-find)

If anyone has a copy, can you please let the President (Patricia Welch) know at: pbjwelch@gmail.com, as she would very much like to have a scanned copy for their permanent files.

The three words that solved an 800-year-old shipwreck mystery

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via News.com.au, 17 May 2018: Chinese inscription provides evidence for a new date to the Java Sea Shipwreck.

AN 800-year-old piece of pottery has helped archaeologists put together fascinating new details about a medieval ship that sank off the coast of Indonesia.

Source: The three words that solved an 800-year-old shipwreck mystery

Revisiting the date of the Java Sea Shipwreck from Indonesia
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2018.04.002

In this article we draw on suites of new information to reinterpret the date of the Java Sea Shipwreck. The ship was a Southeast Asian trading vessel carrying a large cargo of Chinese ceramics and iron as well as luxury items from outside of China, such as elephant tusks and resin. Initially the wreck, which was recovered in Indonesia, was placed temporally in the mid- to late 13th century based on a single radiocarbon sample and ceramic styles. We employ new data, including multiple radiocarbon dates and inscriptions found on some of the ceramics, to suggest that an earlier chronological placement be considered.

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CFP: Global Jars: Asian Containers as Transcultural Enclosures

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Global Jars: Asian Containers as Transcultural Enclosures
Academy of Visual Arts
Hong Kong Baptist University

September 8-9, 2018

Few objects are as universal, ubiquitous and multi-functional as a jar. The term ‘jar’ refers to any man-made shape with the capacity to enclose something, and hence jars are part of human experience throughout time and space, regardless of whether they contain matter or a void, food or drink, life-giving medicine or the ashes of the deceased. Yet, as ubiquitous as such containers, storage vessels, urns, and other kinds of jars might be, they may have been studied by archaeologists and anthropologists, but so far remained almost invisible to the eye of the (art) historian. This conference, entitled ‘Global Jars: Asian Containers as Transcultural Enclosures’, aims to make jars of all kinds visible in a variety of spatial contexts.

We invite proposals for papers to be presented at this conference to be held on the campus of Hong Kong Baptist University, Academy of Visual Arts, September 8-9, 2018.

This conference brings together an interdisciplinary team of scholars in the fields of ceramic studies, history and art history to approach the topic of the jar from multiple perspectives. Contributors are invited to consider jars not only as (household) utensils and evidence of lost or present human civilizations but also as artefacts in their own right, as culturally and aesthetically defined crafted goods and as objects charged with spiritual meanings and ritual significance. They understand jars not only as belonging to a single place, but as global or transcultural artefacts in which different cultures meet and merge. The goal is furthermore to examine jars not only as ceramic containers, but as materializing a boundary between inside and outside, content and environment, exterior worlds and interior enclosures; jars not only as things in the hands of makers, users, and collectors, but, in some cases, as understood to possess human-like agency, animalistic or other-worldly powers themselves.

This conference uses art-historical methods to understand jars as transcultural containers that mediate between inside and outside, Asian and non-Asian, local and global, this-worldly and other-worldly realms. Special attention will be given to the relationships between the filling, emptying and re-filling of jars with a variety of contents through time and throughout space and the charging, eliminating and re-charging of these particular objects with different sets of meanings.

Those interested in presenting a paper at the conference should send a proposal of 300 words accompanied by a bio note of 150 words (in one document) as an e-mail attachment to globaljars@hkbu.edu.hk.

Proposal deadline: June 1, 2018.

Selected participants will be notified by June 19, 2018. Final papers are due August 9, 2018.

A substantial contribution to travel costs to Hong Kong and lodging for all speakers during the conference will be provided.

Dr. Anna Katharina Grasskamp

Research Assistant Professor
ACADEMY OF VISUAL ARTS
Hong Kong Baptist University
CVA314, Communication and Visual Arts Building Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong

Associate Member
Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe in a Global Context at Heidelberg University
Karl Jaspers Centre for Advanced Transcultural Studies
Voßstr. 2, Building 4400
69115 Heidelberg
Germany

ไม่ปล่อยให้โกง…ใช้ “แสงซินโครตรอน” พิสูจน์เครื่องปั้นบ้านเชียงของแท้-ของปลอมได้แม่นยำ

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via MGR Online, 26 March 2018: The Thai Fine Arts Department and the Synchrotron Light Research Institute develop ways to study and authenticate Ban Chiang ceramics. Article is in Thai.

ไม่ปล่อยให้โกงนักวิจัยไทย-กรมศิลปากรใช้เทคโนโลยี “แสงซินโครตรอน” พิสูจน์วัตถุโบราณ “บ้านเชียง” อายุ 3,500 ปี ว่าเป็นของปลอมหรือจริงได้แม่นยำ

Source: ไม่ปล่อยให้โกง…ใช้ “แสงซินโครตรอน” พิสูจน์เครื่องปั้นบ้านเชียงของแท้-ของปลอมได้แม่นยำ