Ceramics

Ceramics are among the most common type of archaeological material.

Ceramics are objects made from clay that are shaped and then baked or fired at high temperatures in a kiln, making them hard. They come in a variety of shapes and functions, such as pots and bricks, and are highly durable which is why they are interesting to archaeologists. We know from the archaeological record that ceramics started to appear around 3,000 BCE, especially when people began to establish more permanent settlements. As regional contact and trade grew, some ceramic forms, especially from China, became highly prized.

To cite this page: Tan, Noel Hidalgo (2021, Updated 6 April 2022) Ceramics. Southeast Asian Archaeology. Available at: https://www.southeastasianarchaeology.com/ceramics/

Some of the more notable ceramic traditions in Southeast Asia include the Ban Chiang pots with their distinctive red markings, Thai Celadon (Sawankhalok ware) and Chu Dau ceramics produced in Vietnam from the 12th-17th centuries CE. If you are in Bangkok, the Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum in Bangkok University gives an overview of the ceramic traditions in the region.

Recommended Books

There are a numerous books about Southeast Asian ceramics. The list below is my personal recommendation based on what I have in my library or have read, and are easily available. These are affiliate links and I may receive a commission if you click on them and make a purchase. But also remember there are some local-language publications that are not available in the internet. For other sources of reliable academic information, you should also check out the books page for latest releases and the occassional free book, as well as the journals page for the latest scientific research.

Sale
The Ceramics of Southeast Asia: Their Dating and Identification
The Ceramics of Southeast Asia: Their Dating and Identification
Brown, Malcolm (Author); English (Publication Language); 272 Pages - 12/31/2000 (Publication Date) - Art Media Resources (Publisher)
−$41.40 $8.55
Sale
The Elephant and the Lotus: Vietnamese Ceramics in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The Elephant and the Lotus: Vietnamese Ceramics in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Used Book in Good Condition; Hardcover Book; English (Publication Language)
−$70.20 $14.80
Sale
Vietnamese Ceramics: A Separate Tradition
Vietnamese Ceramics: A Separate Tradition
Used Book in Good Condition; Hardcover Book; Stevenson, John (Author); English (Publication Language)
−$75.00 $50.00
Sale
Chinese and South-East Asian White Ware Found in the Philippines
Chinese and South-East Asian White Ware Found in the Philippines
Hardcover Book; English (Publication Language); 140 Pages - 05/20/1993 (Publication Date) - Oxford University Press (Publisher)
−$35.00 $50.00
Sale
Vietnamese Ceramics, with an Illustrated Catalogue of the Exhibition
Vietnamese Ceramics, with an Illustrated Catalogue of the Exhibition
Hardcover Book; English (Publication Language); 181 Pages - 12/01/1982 (Publication Date) - Oxford Univ Press (Publisher)
−$5.00 $50.00
The Beauty of Fired Clay: Ceramics from Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand
The Beauty of Fired Clay: Ceramics from Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand
Used Book in Good Condition; Hardcover Book; Honda, Hiromu (Author); English (Publication Language)
$170.00
Southeast Asian Ceramics
Southeast Asian Ceramics
Hardcover Book; Miksic, John N. (Author); English (Publication Language); 176 Pages - 02/16/2010 (Publication Date) - Didier Millet,Csi (Publisher)
$50.00
Prehistoric Ceramics of Northeastern Thailand (BAR International)
Prehistoric Ceramics of Northeastern Thailand (BAR International)
Vincent, Brian (Author); English (Publication Language); 342 Pages - 12/31/1988 (Publication Date) - British Archaeological Reports (Publisher)
$79.43
Ancient Kiln Sites in Buriram Province
Ancient Kiln Sites in Buriram Province
illustrations; bibliography; Natthaphat Chanthawanit (Author); English (Publication Language)
$44.95
Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai Ceramics: Inspiration and Realization
Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai Ceramics: Inspiration and Realization
Hardcover Book; Thanyakarn Wong-on (Author); English (Publication Language); 242 Pages - 05/25/2022 (Publication Date) - Thanombutra School (Publisher)
$179.99
Oriental Trade Ceramics in South-East Asia, Ninth to Sixteenth Centuries: With a Catalogue of Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai Wares in Australian Collections (Oxford in Asia Studies in Ceramics)
Oriental Trade Ceramics in South-East Asia, Ninth to Sixteenth Centuries: With a Catalogue of Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai Wares in Australian Collections (Oxford in Asia Studies in Ceramics)
Guy, John S. (Author); English (Publication Language); 180 Pages - 12/27/1990 (Publication Date) - Oxford University Press (Publisher)
$77.87
Earthenware in Southeast Asia
Earthenware in Southeast Asia
illustrations; bibliography; index; Hardcover Book; English (Publication Language); 370 Pages - 01/01/2013 (Publication Date) - Singapore University Press (Publisher)
$30.00
Verborgene Schätze: 2000 Jahre Vietnamesische Keramik = Hidden Treasures:  2000 Years Of Vietnamese Ceramics
Verborgene Schätze: 2000 Jahre Vietnamesische Keramik = Hidden Treasures: 2000 Years Of Vietnamese Ceramics
MAY, Jochen (Author); 05/25/2022 (Publication Date) - Museum of East Asian Art (Publisher)
$48.00
Bencharong: Chinese Porcelain for Siam; Discover Thai Art
Bencharong: Chinese Porcelain for Siam; Discover Thai Art
Hardcover Book; Rooney, Dawn F. (Author); English (Publication Language); 156 Pages - 03/29/2018 (Publication Date) - River Books Press Dist A C (Publisher)
$99.99
Vietnamese Ceramics
Vietnamese Ceramics
Tran Kánh Chu'o'ng (Author); English (Publication Language); 97 Pages - 05/25/2022 (Publication Date) - The Gioi Publishers (Publisher)
$99.99
Vietnamese Blue and White Ceramics
Vietnamese Blue and White Ceramics
Hardcover Book; Tri, Bui Minh and Kerry Nguyen-Long (Author); English (Publication Language)
$32.30
Dragons and Lotus Blossoms: Vietnamese Ceramics from the Birmingham Museum of Art
Dragons and Lotus Blossoms: Vietnamese Ceramics from the Birmingham Museum of Art
Stevenson, John A. (Author); English (Publication Language); 263 Pages - 12/09/2011 (Publication Date) - University of Washington Press (Publisher)
$44.99
Majapahit Terracotta Art
Majapahit Terracotta Art
illustrations; bibliography; Hardcover Book; Soemantri, Hilda (Author); English (Publication Language)
$1,000.00
Oriental pottery and porcelain: From the collection of Imelda Romualdez Marcos, First Lady of the Philippines
Oriental pottery and porcelain: From the collection of Imelda Romualdez Marcos, First Lady of the Philippines
Hardcover Book; Tantoco, Rosario Buenaventura (Author); English (Publication Language); 224 Pages - 05/24/1976 (Publication Date) - Marcos Foundation Museum (Publisher)
$85.00
Guangdong Ceramics: From Butuan and Other Philippine Sites
Guangdong Ceramics: From Butuan and Other Philippine Sites
Hardcover Book; English (Publication Language); 128 Pages - 06/28/1990 (Publication Date) - Oxford University Press (Publisher)
$38.99
Handbook of Vietnamese Ceramics with Inscriptions from the Fifteenth to Nineteenth Centuries
Handbook of Vietnamese Ceramics with Inscriptions from the Fifteenth to Nineteenth Centuries
Nguyen Dinh Chien (Author); Vietnamese (Publication Language); 225 Pages - Unknown (Publisher)

Last update on 2022-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Archaeological Ceramics in the News

The news reports indexed below usually link to external sites that were active at the time of posting; sometimes websites may be temporarily down or may have reorganised their underlying architecture or have even closed down – in these cases the links may not be available. Most of the news articles archived are in English, although when I am made aware of stories in this and other languages I try to index them.

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