Temporal Variability in Southeast Asian Dragon Jars: A Case from the Philippines

Date
2013
Authors
Dueppen, Stephen
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu)
Abstract
This article presents the results of a detailed analysis of four dragon jar groups found in the Guthe Collection at the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology. Dragon jars are a class of decorated stoneware storage vessels that were employed in trade throughout Southeast Asia during the second millennium a.d . The jars in this study, recovered from mortuary contexts, are a unique data set due to their wide deposition throughout the southern Philippines. An exploration of intra-group and inter-group patterning has revealed temporal patterns and likely production locales for dragon jar manufacture over the course of the twelfth to seventeenth centuries. These temporal and spatial trends are then applied to the Guthe Collection to examine jar distribution throughout the Philippines over the critical period spanning the emergence of large-scale international commerce in the region. This study contributes a well-defined chronology for a commonly found material class, as well as knowledge of regional trading patterns.This article presents the results of a detailed analysis of four dragon jar groups found in the Guthe Collection at the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology. Dragon jars are a class of decorated stoneware storage vessels that were employed in trade throughout Southeast Asia during the second millennium a.d . The jars in this study, recovered from mortuary contexts, are a unique data set due to their wide deposition throughout the southern Philippines. An exploration of intra-group and inter-group patterning has revealed temporal patterns and likely production locales for dragon jar manufacture over the course of the twelfth to seventeenth centuries. These temporal and spatial trends are then applied to the Guthe Collection to examine jar distribution throughout the Philippines over the critical period spanning the emergence of large-scale international commerce in the region. This study contributes a well-defined chronology for a commonly found material class, as well as knowledge of regional trading patterns.
Description
Keywords
Southeast Asia, ceramic classification, dragon jars, trade
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