Southeast Asia is known to many as a region teeming with tourist destinations, economic opportunities and ex-colonies, but a lesser known facet is its colourful and myriad cultures in which ceramics form an integral part of the social fabric. Focusing primarily on the Classical Period (8001500 CE), this book views ancient Southeast Asian culture through the lens of ceramic production and trade, influenced but not completely overshadowed by its powerful neighbour, China. In this landmark publication, which accompanied the exhibition of the same name, noted archaeologist and scholar John N. Miksic constructs a vivid picture of the development of Southeast Asias unique ceramics. Along with three contributing authors Pamela M.Watkins, Dawn F. Rooney and Michael Flecker he summarizes the fruits of their research over the last forty years, beginning in Singapore with the founding of the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society (SEACS) in 1969. The result is a comprehensive and insightful overview of the technology, aesthetics and organization, both economic and political, of seemingly diverse territories in pre-colonial Southeast Asia. It is essential reading for all those with an interest in the economic history of the region, and also for anyone who seeks a better understanding of the brilliant but too often underestimated material culture of Southeast Asia.
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