Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:

Ceramic Production in Shang Societies of Anyang

File SizeFormat 
AP_V48No1_stoltman.pdf8.86 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

Item Summary

Title: Ceramic Production in Shang Societies of Anyang
Authors: Stoltzman, James B.
Jing, Zhichun
Tang, Jigen
Rapp, George (Ripp)
Keywords: ceramic petrography
Shang Dynasty
show 1 moreYinxu
show less
LC Subject Headings: Prehistoric peoples--Asia--Periodicals.
Prehistoric peoples--Oceania--Periodicals.
East Asia--Antiquities--Periodicals.
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu)
Series/Report no.: Volume 48
Number 1
Abstract: This article describes the results of petrographic analyses of ceramic thin sections from the Shang sites of Huanbei and Yinxu in Anyang, Henan, China. The initial goal was to determine the physical composition of locally produced ceramic artifacts. This was accomplished by focusing upon gray wares, the most common ceramic class in Shang contexts at Anyang, and comparing the findings to local, clay-rich sediments in both qualitative and quantitative terms. The resulting data provide objective bases for distinguishing imported ceramic items, notably those with exotic rock tempers and/or distinctive, low-silt pastes, and for making further inquiries into the role of ceramic production and exchange in the development and functioning of Shang society. The study revealed an unexpected amount of compositional diversity within Shang gray wares and indicates that at least three local sediments and three diĀ¤erent technologies were utilized in the manufacture of ceramic objects. For most ceramic objects utilized in daily activities, such as storage and serving vessels and drainpipes, untempered loessic sediments were employed. By contrast, for cooking vessels, alluvial sediments tempered either with sand or grit (crushed rock, some of which was exotic) were normally employed. A third technology, for bronze piece molds, utilized loess, which was untempered, but apparently processed so as to concentrate the silt content thus increasing porosity and minimizing shrinkage, properties that would reduce flaws in cast bronzes.
Pages/Duration: 22 pages
ISSN: 0066-8435 (Print)
1535-8283 (E-ISSN)
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
Appears in Collections:Asian Perspectives, 2009 - Volume 48, Number 1 (Spring)

Items in ScholarSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.