Ceramics in Mainland Southeast Asia:
Collections in the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

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Vessel with round bottom and overall paddle-impressed texture

  • Earthenware
  • 16 x 16 cm
  • Ban Chiang culture
  • 3600-1000 BCE, Ban Chiang culture, early period, phase 4
  • Origin: Northeast Thailand
  • Gift of Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2004.10


Earthenware vessel with wide neck, thick rim; globular base with vertical cord-impressed texture.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Ellen Chase, Louise Cort, and Blythe McCarthy, 5 May 2003) This vessel is OK. Possibly not prehistoric but modern—authentically modern, not a replica. But the use of a cord-wrapped paddle is not found in recent or current pottery traditions anywhere in mainland Southeast Asia. Related vessels have been excavated from Non Nok Tha in Northeast Thailand (Higham and Thosarat 1988, 112, fig. 160) and Khok Phanom Di in Eastern Thailand (ibid., 47, fig. 54–55).

Higham, Charles, and Rachanie Thosarat. 1998. Prehistoric Thailand: From Early Settlement to Sukhothai. Bangkok: River Books.

2. (Joyce White, 8 December 2003) Ban Chiang Early Period, Phase 4.

3. (Judy Voelker, 9 December 2003) She has not seen this shape of folded rim on whole vessels, but she has fragments from the sites she works on in the Phimai area. This sort of rim occurs on both Neolithic and late Bronze Age vessels in the Phimai area. The rim of this vessel is more uneven than usual. A seam line is visible inside the base of the neck. Is this a mortuary pot made quickly and somewhat sloppily? There are no sooting marks from use on the outside, indicating it was not used before burial.

4. (Louise Cort, 18 August 2004) Title is changed from "Vessel" to "Cord-marked jar with tall neck and rolled rim." Location is shown as "Northern Khorat Plateau, Thailand."

A Ban Chiang Early Period (ca. 1500 B.C.) burial jar of similar shape, with tall neck and cord-marked body, was recovered from Burial 48 at Ban Chiang (White 1982, no. 32).

White, Joyce C. 1982. Ban Chiang: Discovery of a Lost Bronze Age. Philadelphia and Washington: University Museum, University of Pennsylvania Press and Smithsonian Institution.

5. (Louise Cort, 24 January 2007) Brian Vincent describes and illustrates "medium-sized buff cord-marked pots which are round-bottomed with tall necks and a folded rim" as one type of pot excavated from the lowest graves—"provisional Early Period types"—at Ban Chiang (Vincent 2003, 238, fig. 16.8).

Vincent, Brian. 2003. "Earthenware in Prehistoric Thailand". Pp. 230–248 in Earthenware in Southeast Asia—Proceedings of the Singapore Symposium on Premodern Southeast Asian Earthenwares, edited by John N. Miksic. Singapore: Singapore University Press and the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society.

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