Reverse Engineering of Ancient Ceramic Technologies from Southeast Asia and South China
AdvisorVandiver, Pamela B.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractCeramic technologies of Myanmar and South China were analyzed in order to determine characteristic traits and technological origins. Given Myanmar’s geographically strategic position between China and Southwest Asia, its ceramic history needs to be reevaluated among the distinct traditions of Southeast Asia. The ceramics of Myanmar show evidence of imitation China and Southwest/Central Asia using locally sourced materials, giving support to Dr. Myo Thant Tyn’s theory of the convergence of the Chinese and Southwest/Central Asian ceramic traditions in Myanmar. Seven ceramic technologies of Myanmar were analyzed: celadons, black-glazed jars (lead-barium and lead-iron-manganese glazes), brown ash glaze ware, green and opaque white-painted glaze ware and turquoise-glazed, coarse-bodied white earthenware. Celadon glazes and brown glazes were made with ash, similar to the Chinese celadon tradition. Green-and-white opaque ware utilized copper-green colorant glaze decoration with tin and lead oxides as opacifying agents on low-fired oxidized bodies. Both these traditions are probably derived from Southwest Asian ceramic and glass traditions. High-soda, copper-turquoise glazes on coarse white earthenware bodies are influenced by Southwest and Central Asian low-fire ceramic and glass traditions. Black-glazed, “Martaban”-style storage jars were variable in body and glaze technology and are still of indeterminable technological origin. A phase-separated glaze was analyzed that had a similar phase-separated appearance to northern Chinese Jun ware. Additionally, two black-glazed ware types from South China with vertical streaking phase separation were analyzed: Xiba kiln of Sichuan and Jianyang kilns of Fujian. The recently discovered and excavated Xiba kiln made experimental and striking stoneware bowls similar to Jianyang “hare’s fur” ware. Reverse engineering the manufacture of Xiba kiln ware determined that Xiba was an innovative site that imitated Jianyang ware aesthetically but not technologically. Xiba and Jianyang do not have any connection to the six Burmese glaze styles, however, future analyses of Southeast Asian ceramics can use the data for comparison and variability research.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Materials Science & Engineering