Epigraphic and literary evidence for a pottery tradition in Lower Burma dating from the early centuries of the present era are discussed. The tradition is mentioned •rst in Buddhist texts, and is alluded to in Chinese and Indian histories. A Sanskrit inscription of around the eighth century a.d. referring to Kalasapura, the city of jars, coincides with •nds at sites in Lower Burma where contact with both eastern India and Dvaravati is evidenced in unglazed wares. By the eleventh century, Mon people around the Gulf of Martaban, particularly between Twante and Moulmein, in•uenced the pottery of Pagan, seen in illustrations in frescoes and glazed terracotta plaques. Ports around this coastline were important links in the China-India porcelain trade and later in the export of Sawankhalok and other Siamese wares, as well as glazed wares from sites around the Gulf. Arab, Chinese, and European sources trace the history of this trade from the fourteenth century until its decline in the eighteenth century.
Asian Perspectives – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: May 1, 2001