Angkorian Khmer stoneware: production and provenance

Peter Grave*, Lisa Kealhofer, Miriam T. Stark, Darith Ea, Rachna Chhay, Ben Marsh, Kaseka Phon, Hiroshi Sugiyama, Yukitsugu Tabata, Yuni Sato, Sok Keo Sovannara, Visoth Chhay, Sutee Veerawan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

From ∼ 900 to 1450 CE the Angkorian Khmer state extended control over much of inland Southeast Asia. This economically complex polity supported a large number and a diverse range of specialist producers across its territory. Given the limited types of textual data, our understanding of the Angkorian Khmer economy is heavily reliant on archaeological data to address key issues such as the relationship between specialist producers and the Angkorian elite. Here our focus is on the production side of this question through elemental characterization (Neutron Activation Analysis) of a large sample of high temperature ceramics - stonewares - from 15 Angkorian Khmer complexes in Cambodia and Thailand. In the majority of cases we can identify kiln-specific compositional signatures as the groundwork for the next stage of analysis: studying the consumption-side dynamics of Angkorian stoneware distribution. The study also highlights the spatial resolution of stoneware NAA possible in this context. Together, defining patterns of stoneware production, distribution and consumption will allow a new bottom-up perspective on the operation of the Angkorian Khmer political and ritual economy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103231
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Volume40
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology

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