X-Ray “Gun” Identifies A Shipwreck’s 800-Year-Old Knockoff Ceramics

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Qingbai Museum from the Java Sea Wreck at the Field Museum. Source: PBS, 20190209
Qingbai Museum from the Java Sea Wreck at the Field Museum. Source: PBS, 20190209
Qingbai Museum from the Java Sea Wreck at the Field Museum. Source: PBS, 20190209

via PBS.org, 09 Feb 2019: Based on a recently-published paper in Journal of Archaeological Science, an analysis of ceramics from the Java Sea wreck reveals that the prized Qingbai ceramics were produced in four kilns across China, some high-quality, while others mass-produced ‘counterfeits’ to meet rising demands.

In a study published today in the Journal of Archaeological Science, a team of scientists pinpoints the origins of several of the Chinese ceramics on board. The chemical composition of the ship’s glazed, bluish-white qingbai wares shows they were forged at four different kiln sites across China—and while some were high-quality, luxury items destined for the social elite, others appear to be more akin to counterfeits, likely mass produced to meet rising demand in markets abroad.

“I think these are brilliant results,” says Elisabeth Holmqvist, an archaeologist and material scientist at the University of Helsinki in Finland who was not involved in the study. “This is when geochemical data really becomes valuable for archaeological questions: It provides the evidence, and then we can go back to the socioeconomic context. That’s the greatest value in this kind of research.”

Sourcing qingbai porcelains from the Java Sea Shipwreck: Compositional analysis using portable XRF
Xu et al, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2018.12.010

This paper evaluates the use of portable x-ray fluorescence (pXRF) on glazes and pastes for sourcing Chinese porcelains from the 12th-13th century Java Sea Shipwreck (JSW) collection at the Field Museum. Three types of qingbai (bluish-white) wares from the JSW collection were chosen for pXRF analysis. Samples from four kiln complexes in China—Jingdezhen, Dehua, Huajiashan, and Minqing, hypothesized to be potential sources of the shipwreck’s qingbai ceramics based on visual inspection—were also analyzed to establish reference groups. Results from kiln samples show that different kiln complexes can be clearly differentiated by pXRF analysis of glazes. Based on pXRF analysis of ceramic samples from the JSW, there appear to be four compositional groups, and each group closely matches one of the four kiln reference groups. These findings support the use of pXRF on glazes, especially when pastes are difficult to access, as a method for identifying the potential sources for overseas cargos found distant from production contexts for Chinese porcelains.

Source: X-Ray “Gun” Identifies A Shipwreck’s 800-Year-Old Knockoff Ceramics | NOVA | PBS | NOVA | PBS

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Angkor-era pot discovered in Siem Reap

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Pot discovered in Prasat Takeo nursery. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20190211

via Phnom Penh Post, 11 Feb 2019: An almost-intact pot was discovered in a nursery in Siem Reap. The pot is believed to have been manufactured from the Torp Chey kiln.

An Angkor-era pot is being cleaned by Apsara Authority Forest Management Department experts after being unearthed in Prasat Takeo Nursery, in Siem Reap town’s Rohal village, Nokor Thom commune, on Wednesday.

The pot will then be displayed at the Preah Norodom Sihanouk-Angkor Museum in Siem Reap.

The Apsara Authority is responsible for protecting the Angkor Archaeological Park. Its spokesman Long Kosal told The Post on Sunday that the ancient pot is in good condition, although its lip has been chipped by a hoe blade. It has a smooth brownish surface, while carvings on it reveal its origins.

Source: Angkor-era pot discovered in Siem Reap, National, Phnom Penh Post

[Symposium] What’s so Fascinating about Ceramics?

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The Southeast Asian Ceramic Society together with the Singapore Management University (SMU) is holding a one-day symposium on 23 February entitled “What’s so Fascinating about Ceramics” that will consist of three panels discussing the roles ceramics have played throughout history as vehicles of culture, propaganda, greed, community and heritage. Panelists include experts in fields including art, history, archaeology, media, politics, curating, collecting, dealing, art conservation and the law.

Date: 23 Feb 2019
Time: 10:00 am to 4:30 pm
Venue: SMU Law School, Singapore on Saturday 23 February.

Free admission with registration: https://seacs23feb.peatix.com

Millennia-Old Thai Antiquities Returned From US Collections

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via Khaosod English, 17 January 2019: Collectors from the US return 46 artefacts, mostly from the Ban Chiang period, to Thailand earlier this month.

BANGKOK — Forty-six ancient artifacts aged thousands of years have been returned to Thailand from collectors in the United States, the Culture Ministry announced Thursday.

Source: Millennia-Old Thai Antiquities Returned From US Collections

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Rare Bencharong goes on display at River City

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via Bangkok Post, 06 December 2018: An exhibition on Bencharong ceramics in Bangkok.

Bencharong, a distinctive variety of enamelled porcelain made primarily for Siamese royalty of the Chakri Dynasty between the late 18th and early 20th centuries, never fails to amaze people for its brilliant colours, wide selection of motifs and kaleidoscopic compositions.

Not to be missed by Bencharong enthusiasts is the exhibition tilted “Bencharong Journey: From China To Siam”, the first of its kind to be held in Thailand since 1977. The show will take place at RCB Auctions, 4th floor, River City Bangkok.

The Bencharong event, which runs from Saturday, Dec 8, will be curated by ceramics historian Dawn F. Rooney, who is also a scholar and art historian specialising in Southeast Asia, having authored nine books on the art and culture of the region.

Source: Rare Bencharong goes on display at River City | Bangkok Post: lifestyle

[Conference] Traditional pottery art of Cham People: Preservation and Development

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Deadline is in a few days!

Pottery of Cham people in Bau Truc village (Palei Hamu Craok), Ninh Thuan province, is a kind of ancient pottery art in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. To preserve and promote this inherited property in the era of international integration, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism issued Document No. 2527/BVHTTDL-DSVH dated June 11, 2018; and the People’s Committee of Ninh Thuan province issued Document No. 3511/KH-UBND dated August 16, 2018 to proceed the plan of “Creating a profile of the Traditional pottery art of Cham People to submit to UNESCO to be introduced in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritages that needs urgent safeguarding”.

To implement the above plan, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and People’s Committee of Ninh Thuan province will co-organize a national and international conference on ” Traditional pottery art of Cham People: Preservation and Development “.

  1. CONTENT

The conference will focus on the following key issues:

  1. Identifying the ceramic heritage of Cham people in Vietnam and its typical values

– Identifying cultural heritage of pottery art of Cham people in Vietnam (including Cham Bau Truc pottery art  in Ninh Thuan province and Binh Duc pottery art in Binh Thuan province);

– Characteristics of traditional pottery art of Cham people and the influence of this heritage;

– Position, roles, and economic, cultural and social functions of Cham pottery art  in the communities;

2. The relationship between Cham and Churu ceramics with other pottery art centers in Vietnam and Asia

– Similarities and differences in form, artwork and customs and traditions associated with pottery and traditional pottery villages;

– Similarities and differences between the traditional pottery art of Cham people with other traditional ceramics in Vietnam and some countries in the world;

– The role and position of Cham ceramics in the maritime trade network and in the context of economic and cultural exchanges with countries in Southeast Asia in particular and Asia in general in history.

3. Status of Cham ceramics heritage, necessity and urgent measures of protection; Experience from some pottery villages in the world

– The status of the traditional pottery art of Cham people and the socio-economic issues affecting the vitality of the heritage;

– Cham pottery  villages in the system of craft villages in Vietnam;

– The need to protect the traditional pottery art  of Cham people; the community of Cham people to protect and promote the traditional art of making potteries;

– Experience in developing policies and legal rights for traditional handicraft artisans;

– Direction of the state and possible measures to protect the traditional pottery art of Cham people;

– Experience in planning, preserving and developing pottery villages in some Asian countries;

– International experience in preserving and developing pottery villages and in traditional handicraft villages in general;

– Experience in developing tourism in trade villages in some Asian countries.

II. TIME, VENUE AND HONORARIUM FOR PRESENTERS

1. Time – December 8- 9, 2018 (including a field trip).

2. Venue – Phan Rang – Thap Cham city, Ninh Thuan province, Vietnam

3. Honorarium for presenters– The cost of travel and accommodation for presenters and authors (including domestic and international guests) will be covered by the Organizing Committee.

III. PAPER FORMAT AND PAPER SUBMISSION

1. Paper format

– Language: Vietnamese and English

– Papers should be limited to a maximum of 15 pages, typed in Times New Roman, size 13 on A4 paper; spaced 1.5 centimeters,  Top: 1.5 centimeters; Bottom: 1.5 centimeters, Left: 3.5 centimeters, Right: 1.5 centimeters, Header: 1.25 centimeters, Footer: 1.25 centimeters.

– The paper includes an abstract of about 200 – 250 words; Keywords: 3 – 5 words, sorted in alphabetical order.

– A biography of the author (to be introduced at the conference and printed in the conference proceedings) should include the following information:Name/ Title / Degree / Year of graduation / Awarded by/Research interest or field of expertise / Institution /3 typical publications in the last 3 years

– The article should be divided into subsections numbered and printed as follows:

1, 2; 1.1, 1.2; 1.1.1, 1.1.2 and no further subdivision. Subsection title should be short, with no punctuation.

– Quotations should be in quotation marks, not in italics. Annotations are put in the bottom of the page. Type of material quotation: author, year of publication in parentheses (…), name of the work (italic), publisher’s shortcut, publication place (full, not abbreviated, e.g. Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City, volume (abbreviated: p., v.), Page number (abbreviated in p.). Example:Van Mon (2001), Traditional pottery art of Cham People in Bau Truc – Ninh Thuan, Information Publishing House, Hanoi, p. 53.Ha Van Tan (2000), Village, Inter-village, Super-village (Thinking about Methods), in History Faculty of University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Hanoi National University, A Milestone of Historical Research (1995-2000), National Political Publishing House, Hanoi, p. 54.

– References are listed at the end of the article, numbered in order, sorted by author name in alphabetical order.

– Name of the author, academic title, institution, address, telephone number and e-mail address should be written under the article for further communication.

– The paper will be edited by a Review Panel. Satisfactory papers will be selected to be published into a reference book.
2. Time of submission– Abstracts and Biography: By November 1, 2018 – Full paper: By November 25, 2018

  1. Contact information

– Biography, abstract and full papers to be sent to:

+ Mr. Ho Si Son, Deputy Director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Ninh Thuan province; Tel: 0259 352 0000; Mobile: 090 799 7468; Email: hosyson1973@gmail.com

+ Dr. Dinh Van Hanh, Branch of Vietnam Institute of National Culture and Art in Ho Chi Minh City, 61 Mac Dinh Chi, Da Kao Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City; Tel: 0982 955 009; 028 3822 7529. Email: dinhvanhanh@yahoo.com

+ Ass. Prof. Dr. Truong Van Mon, University of Social Sciences and Humanities – Vietnam National University. Ho Chi Minh City, 10-12 Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City; Tel: 097 272 3302; Email: Vanmonsakaya@yahoo.com.

 

On behalf of the Organizing Committee

CO-CHAIR
Le Van BinhVice
Chairman of the People’s Committee of  Ninh Thuan province

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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