Technology of Dvaravati Pottery: A View from Petrographic Analysis.
AbstractThis study focuses on the examination of aspects of the carinated pottery of the Dvaravati period. This type of pottery is one of the most prominent types found in a large number of Dvaravati sites in Thailand. Samples used for this study were collected from excavations at archaeological sites located in several regions of Thailand including Northern, Northeastern and Central Thailand. The carinated potteries were analyzed using petrographic analysis. The objective of this work was to examine the pottery fabric. This method is used to establish sources of raw materials, and whether production techniques, decorations, and firing temperature show patterns associated with the raw material source distributions. It is also possible to reconstruct the production technology of the vessels. Knowing the source of raw materials (source of clay and temper) and understanding the patterns of manufacturing and decorative processes help better understand material distribution patterns of the Dvaravati period. Analysis shows that Dvaravati earthenware pottery raw materials include both primary and secondary clays, and that temper used was both organic matter (rice chaff) and grogs (fired clay mixed with iron oxide). Evidence for wheel-thrown production was associated with all decoration styles, and finishing techniques included plain, polishing, incising, cord marking, red slip and black burnishing. The firing temperatures were as low as 400-550° C. These samples indicate there was general homogeneity over a wide area, but also the presence of regional groups of pottery. This suggests the widespread circulation of pottery styles among various production centers during the Dvaravati period.