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

Print | Back to Normal Layout

Vessel with round bottom

  • Earthenware with red slip
  • 14 x 21 cm
  • Ban Prasat culture
  • 1000-600 BCE, Ban Prasat culture, mortuary phase 2
  • Origin: Nakhon Ratchasema (Khorat) province, Northeast Thailand
  • Gift of Victor and Takako Hauge
  • S2004.58


Red on buff; flaring rim; incised designs on lower half.

Curatorial Remarks

1. (Ellen Chase, Louise Cort, and Blythe McCarthy, 5 May 2003) This vessel is OK.

Possibly Ban Lum Khao (Nakhon Ratchasima province, Northeast Thailand)? See Higham 1988, 91, fig. 119, for a vessel of similar shape. Also p. 129, fig. 198 for a vessel with oversized trumpet neck (h. 26 cm.).The excavation is described in pp. 114–117.

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

2. (Louise Cort, 12 September 2003) In a conversation at his home on 1 June 2001, Victor Hauge mentioned that this and the other two "Ban Prasat" type vessels came from Frank Scotten, whom they knew when he lived in Saigon.

3. (Joyce White, 8 December 2003) Ask Judy Voelker. This appears related to the Pa Sak Valley in Central Thailand, to the site of Khok Charoen, or else to Non Nok Tha in northern Northeast Thailand. Vessels of this type, with squiggles over the cord-marking, come from the lower level at Non Nok Tha or from Dong Klang. These sites lie in the upper Chi River drainage area, along the Nam Pong. There appears to be a relationship between the Nam Pong and the Songkhram river areas in a larger Northeast Thailand cultural sphere.

4. (Judy Voelker, 9 December 2003) Clearly from the Phimai area and dating to the bronze age, as determined by the rim shape, the red slip on the upper shoulder and inner rim, the punctuated marks, and the burnished wavy lines. Check the Ban Prasat site museum for similar examples.

5.  (Louise Cort, 18 August 2004) Title changed from "Vessel" to "Round-bottomed pot with carinated body, medium-size mouth, and sharply everted rim."

6. (Louise Cort, 16 February 2006) A vessel of this type, with a rounded, cord-wrapped-paddle impressed base and a smooth, red-slipped burnished shoulder and tall, trumpet-shaped neck, is in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (AC1997.66.1), where it is identified as from "Nong Song District, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand" and dated to circa 400 BC. The vessel is published in Labbe 2002.

Labbe, Armand. 2002. Prehistoric Thai Ceramics: Ban Chiang, Lopburi, and Khok Phanom Di and Related Sites in Regional and Cultural Perspective. Bangkok: White Lotus.

7. (Louise Cort, 18 October 2006) Vessels of this type were also excavated from Bronze Age burials at the large moated site of Ban Non Wat, south of Noen U Loke in the upper Mun valley in Khorat province, as reported by Charles Higham at the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeology meeting, 25 September 2006. This large site includes 470 inhumation graves, ranging in date from the Neolithic (radiocarbon dates 2100–1300) to the Iron Age, which yielded 3000 pots and 700 spindle whorls among a total of 18,000 objects. Radiocarbon dates for the Bronze Age and late Bronze Age spanned 1000–400 BCE. This type of pot was part of what Higham termed "Bronze Age super burials," containing thirty or more vessels along with bronzes axes and tools.

Changed Period from Prehistoric to Bronze Age.

8. (Louise Cort, 27 March 2008) Dates for this type of vessel have shifted as dating methods have been refined and data have increased. Higham (1996, 205–206) stated that the first mortuary phase of Ban Prasat—from which pots of this type were excavated—dates to 800–500 B.C. In a subsequent publication, he stated that the burials "probably date from around 800 B.C." (Higham and Rachanie 1998, 113).

Higham further states that "Ban Prasat and Ban Lum Khao share an identical ceramic assemblage," which he terms "Prasat style" (Higham and Rachanie, eds. 2004). Mortuary Phase Two at Ban Lum Khao, to which S2004.58–61 appear to belong in type (ibid., 64, fig. 3:43), is dated "within the period 1000–600 B.C." and "represents the Bronze Age of the upper Mun Valley" (ibid., 325).

Date is changed from 1000–500 B.C.E. to 1000–600 B.C.E., following the most recent dates for the "Prasat style."

Higham, Charles. 1996. The Bronze Age of Southeast Asia. Edited by Norman Yoffee. Cambridge World Archaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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

Higham, Charles F. W., and Rachanie Thosarat, eds. 2004. The Excavation of Ban Lum Khao. Vol. 1, The Origins of the Civilizations of Angkor. Bangkok: The Thai Fine Arts Department.

field notes

Submit Comment 0 comments total

No field notes found.