Chinese Ceramic Production and Trade
Abstract and Keywords
Ceramics are the most abundant types of artifacts made by human beings in the last 12,000 years. Chinese potters discern two types of products: earthenware (tao), which is porous and does not resonate when struck, and wares with vitreous bodies (ci), which ring like a bell. Western potters and scholars differentiate stoneware, which is semi-porous, from porcelain, which is completely vitrified.
The earliest ceramics in the world are thought to have been made in China around 15,000 years ago. By the Shang dynasty, potters in China began to decorate the surfaces of their pottery with ash glaze, in which wood ash mixed with feldspar in clay to impart a shiny surface to the pottery. The first ash-glazed wares were probably made south of the Yangzi in Jiangnan.
In the 9th century, China began to export pottery, which quickly became sought after in maritime Asia and Africa. Pottery making for export became a major industry in China, employing hundreds of thousands of people, and stimulating the development of the first mass-production techniques in the world. Much of the ceramic industry was located along China’s south and southeast coasts, conveniently located near ports that connected China with international markets. Chinese merchants had to adapt their wares to suit different consumers. For the last 1,000 years, Chinese ceramics provided an enormous amount of archaeological information on trade and society in the lands bordering the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean, contributing a major source of data to the study of early long-distance commerce, art, technology, urbanization, and many other topics. This section presents statistics from important sites outside China where Chinese ceramics have been found.
Discussion of the Literature of Chinese Trade Ceramics
Chinese intellectuals in premodern times scorned trade and industry, at least in print. Ceramics in general did not appear in early Chinese sources, with a possibly mythical reference of 621 CE attributed to the founder of the Tang dynasty who ordered vessels of the color of “false jade.”1 The first literary reference to Chinese porcelain outside of China occurs in ‘Akhbar as ‘sin wa al-hind (“News of China and India”), dated 851 CE, probably written in Iraq.2 Elite Chinese connoisseurship of ceramics can be traced to the 8th century, when Lu Yu wrote Cha Jing, “Treatise on Tea,” one section of which deals with the utensils used to drink it. Je compared Yue green glaze to jade and ice, Xing white ware to silver and snow.3 Tang dynasty poetry rhapsodizes about mise (“secret/prohibited color”) teacups made for the emperor; examples of this ware found in the Famen pagoda prove that this was bluish-green.4
No records on ceramic exports appear until the Song dynasty. The Song shi includes ceramics among common items of foreign trade around 999.5 Marco Polo in the 13th century said that porcelain was cheap in China; a Venetian groat could purchase eight porcelain cups made in Dehua, a relatively luxurious item. Between 1111 and 1117, Zhu Yu, whose father was in charge of merchant shipping in Guangzhou, wrote Pingzhou Ketan, which notes that on ships leaving China, “The greater part of the cargo consists of pottery, the small pieces packed in the larger, till there is not a crevice left.”6 The use of large jars to transport smaller, more valuable ceramics has been confirmed by archaeological discoveries of shipwrecks in Southeast Asia.
In 1222 the Chinese government spurred porcelain production by making it illegal to buy foreign goods with money. Chinese were encouraged to barter local products including ceramics, providing an important stimulus to the economy of southeast China, particularly less fertile hilly regions,7 where huge kiln complexes emerged.
In 1225 Zhao Rugua, supervisor of maritime trade in Quanzhou, wrote a systematic account of Chinese foreign trade, Zhu fan zhi, “Records of the Barbarians.” He recorded that Chinese ceramics were exported to south Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula, Java, Borneo, the Philippines, Si-lan (possibly Sri Lanka), Malabar (south India), and Zongba (perhaps Zanzibar).8 The bluish-green ware called celadon in the West, made in Zhejiang, was popular with consumers during the Song dynasty.
Maritime trade expanded during the Yuan dynasty. The first account by a Chinese trader with overseas experience appeared in the late Yuan: Daoyi Zhilue (“Brief Account of Island Barbarians”) by Wang Dayuan, who made two voyages to Southeast Asia in the 1330s. He mentioned twenty-two types of ceramics and listed the areas in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean where they were in demand.
The early Ming emperors banned private trade. Few Chinese ceramics were exported from 1368 until the late 15th century. When the Portuguese arrived in Southeast Asia, they were impressed by the ceramics available in Southeast Asia and China. Portuguese ships carried some Chinaware to Europe, but after 1600 the Dutch United East India Company (VOC) greatly increased the amount of porcelain shipped there. VOC records provide much historical data for the study of porcelain trade.9 Dutch paintings of the 17th century depict Chinese porcelain in European settings. A missionary who visited Jingdezhen in 1712 wrote one of the earliest descriptions of porcelain production.10
The first systematic archaeological research on Chinese ceramics research was conducted in the 20th century at tomb sites, which provided evidence for dating specific wares. Systematic excavation of kilns was rare before the 1990s. Archaeologists working outside China only began to study Chinese ceramics in the 1950s, and even in 2016 few archaeologists specialize in this field. The potential of Southeast Asia to contribute to this subject is demonstrated by a gazetteer of sites with Chinese ceramics written in 1987 that listed eighty-three known sites.11 Scientists have studied the chemistry of Chinese glazes.12 Others have strived to develop ways to identify the products of specific kilns by studying the composition of their clay bodies.13
Underwater archaeology in Southeast Asia began in 1975 when the Fine Arts Department of Thailand collaborated with the Viking Ship Museum of Denmark to survey the Gulf of Thailand.14 The story of underwater archaeology in Southeast Asia since then consists of a few major scientific triumphs and many stunning defeats when sites containing data that could have revolutionized the understanding of Chinese ceramic production and trade have been destroyed by looters. Little underwater archaeology has yet been conducted in the Indian Ocean; it is possible that significant discoveries of Chinese ceramics will be made there in future. Chinese archaeologists have made major strides in the study of underwater sites off China’s south coast since the late 1990s.15
The Early Period of Ceramic Trade: Qin through Tang Dynasties
Han Sherds from South Thailand
The oldest Chinese ceramics found outside China date from the early Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE). These consist of earthenware sherds decorated with stamped designs found at Khao Sam Kaeo on the Siamo-Malay Peninsula. This region was already a nexus for trade between Southeast Asia and South Asia in the 4th century BCE.16
In the 1930s, the curator in the colonial predecessor of today’s National Museum in Jakarta, Indonesia, purchased examples of Chinese ceramics from the Han through the Three Kingdoms and Six dynasties periods.17 No such pieces have since been discovered in archaeological excavations. It is now believed that these pieces had been brought into Indonesia from China in order to offer them to the museum under the pretext that they had been discovered in Indonesia. There is no evidence that Chinese ceramics reached Indonesia before the Tang dynasty (618–906).18 The examples from Khao Sam Kaeo are too few in number to be considered exports; they may have been brought by a local sailor. An early Chinese embassy went to India via Southeast Asia and may have taken a few pieces of Chinese pottery with them. No Chinese traders were active in Southeast Asia until much later. Other Han dynasty sherds have been found in central Vietnam and west Java.19 A few sherds attributed to the short-lived Sui dynasty have also been found in south Sumatra.20
Early Relations among China, Southeast Asia, and West Asia
Several thousand Arabo-Persians are said to have lived in Guangzhou and Yangzhou in the early 9th century, but their relations with the Chinese were not always peaceful. In 758 Arabs burned Guangzhou, stole many valuable items, and sailed away. Two years later, Chinese rebels sacked the port of Yangzhou and killed many Persian and Arab merchants.21 In the same year the Chinese lost control over central Asia. West Asian traders began to frequent maritime routes instead, forming close relations with the Malays and Javanese. In 879 Chinese rebels sacked Guangzhou and killed thousands of Muslims and other foreigners. The survivors fled to Malay Peninsula. In 916 ‘Akhbar as ‘sin wa al-hind reported that ships from Oman met ships from China there.
During the 11th through 13th centuries, China obtained large quantities of West Asian commodities via the kingdoms of Srivijaya and Malayu in southeast Sumatra.22 No new information about Southeast Asia appears in Arabo-Persian sources of this period; the middlemen in the Straits of Melaka made it unnecessary for Arabo-Persians to go all the way to China. In the year 1012 CE, a Chinese history records that some Arab merchants arrived in Guangzhou on a ship from the Malay Peninsula, probably a Malay ship.23 Sites in Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula with Arabo-Persian artifacts all declined in the 11th and 12th centuries. The Seljuks came to power in the mid-11th century and disrupted trade in the Persian Gulf; ports such as Siraf and Sohar also declined at the same time.
Indian Muslims became effective intermediaries in Indian Ocean trade at this time. Chinese ceramics are not common in Indian sites of this period, and most of those come from Islamic sites. Thus the link between China and the Indian Ocean was maintained, but the roles of different groups of traders changed. Another factor that affected the situation was the gradual increase in Chinese traders in Southeast Asia after the end of the Tang dynasty.
Tang Dynasty Ceramics in Southeast Asia
The Malay Peninsula continued to serve as an important link in maritime trade between China and the South Asian littoral in the Tang dynasty. In the early 9th century, kilns at Tongguan, Hunan province, began to make bowls and goglets known as kendi in Southeast Asia (kundika in Sanskrit). Tongguan ware, known as Changsha after the nearby city of Changsha, was elaborately decorated with underglaze painted designs in red, blue, green, and brown. This ware seems to have been produced for export; in China, remains of these ceramics have only been reported from Tongguan and Yangzhou, the port on the Yangzi River where they were loaded on board ships. Many sherds of this ware have been found at Laem Pho on the peninsula’s east coast and Takuapa on the west coast along with turquoise blue fritware from the Persian Gulf.24 Changsha and Yue ware are also found in Kedah, northwest Malaysia, and at many Hindu and Buddhist temples in central Java.25 During the Qin and Han dynasties, China south of the Yangzi was inhabited by people to whom the Chinese referred collectively as Yue. In the late Tang period, green-glazed stoneware made in Zhejiang, Fujian, and Guangdong became known as Yue ware. Several hundred sherds of this ware have been found in Palembang, the capital of Srivijaya.26 Excavations at the Museum Badaruddin yielded 55,000 artifacts, 40 percent of which belong to the Tang-Song period. Imported ceramics mad up 18 percent of that assemblage.27 In addition to Yue, Ding, Changsha, and Gongxian white wares, many fragments of coarse storage jars also made in south China have been found in Palembang and south Thailand, together with lusterware, turquoise, and tin-white wares from the Persian Gulf.28
In the late Tang and Five dynasties period (907–959), Barus in northwest Sumatra received Chinese porcellaneous stoneware from Xicun and Chaozhou in Guangdong.29 Major excavations at Barus also yielded three-color ware, perhaps from Changsha; stoneware jars; white porcellaneous stoneware and porcelain, possibly from the Jingdezhen kiln complex; and green high-fired stoneware probably from Zhejiang. Barus was famous in Arab and Persian lands as a source of camphor. Archaeologists working at Barus have discovered a large quantity of glass and fritware from the Persian Gulf, mid-9th to early 11th centuries, and from Egypt or Syria from the 12th century30 A Tamil inscription dated 1088 is evidence that south Indian traders were also important there.31 Perhaps Arabo-Persian merchants acquired some of the Tang ceramics found in the Persian Gulf in Barus.
By one estimate, the Philippines has yielded the most sherds from the late Tang/Five dynasties period. These have been found in two main areas: Batangas, north of Luzon, and Butuan, northeast Mindanao, with Persian artifacts including turquoise jars. Pottery from Fayum, Egypt, has also been found in Batangas.32
A Tang Shipwreck: Belitung/Batu Hitam
In 1998, remains of a ship with almost 60,000 intact Tang ceramics were found in Indonesia, near the island of Belitung. The ship, now referred to as either the Batu Hitam or Belitung wreck, is believed to have sunk around 830 CE.
Thailand relies on its own archaeologists to conduct underwater research, but other Southeast Asian countries have preferred to enter into joint projects with foreign individuals or companies. The cargo of the Belitung wreck was salvaged without the involvement of trained underwater archaeologists. The authenticity of the cargo is not in doubt, but the distribution of artifacts on the site was not recorded, so no information is available regarding the stowing pattern and thus the ship’s route.
The mystery of the ship’s last voyage is compounded by the fact that a qualified maritime archaeologist engaged to study the remains of the ship discovered that it was a dhow, probably built in the Persian Gulf, but significantly rebuilt in Southeast Asia.33 It would seem logical to infer that the ship’s cargo was probably intended for the Persian Gulf, perhaps Oman, were it not for the fact that Belitung is on the normal route to Java, far from where it should be if it were sailing from China to the Indian Ocean. Arabo-Persian literature from the 9th century records that ships did sail from Oman to the Siamo-Malay Peninsula; this is confirmed by the finds of West Asian pottery in the peninsula and on Sumatra in the same sites as Chinese pottery. In China, West Asian pottery has been found at Yangzhou and Fuzhou.34
The Belitung is the oldest well-preserved shipwreck found in Southeast Asia, and by far the most valuable in terms of the information it yielded. This site confirms historical sources stating that China began to produce ceramics for export in the early 9th century.35 No ordinary seaman’s items from the Indian Ocean were recovered,36 further adding to the riddle of the ship’s last port of call and intended destination.
About 60,000 intact ceramics were found on the site, 98 percent of which came from Changsha. Several other kilns are also represented, including Yue ware from Zhejiang, Guangzhou storage jars (in which they Changsha bowls were packed), white ware from Hebei and Henan, green-splashed white ware, and a few pieces of cobalt blue decorated white ware from Gongxian.37 Two of the Gongxian ceramic bear Chinese inscriptions that indicate that they were made for the imperial court.38
Tang Wares in the Indian Ocean
The quantity of Chinese ceramics decreases with distance from China, but a chain of Indian Ocean ports linked to China is delineated by archaeological discoveries of Chinese wares. Most of the wares found on the Belitung shipwreck have also been discovered at Samarra, on the Tigris River, summer capital of the Abbasid caliphate between 856 and 885, but not in large quantities. A particular type of white glazed bowl with a broad flat foot is known as “Samarra ware” due to its frequency at that site, where this porcellaneous ware was found together with Yue ware in 1911–1913, causing a commotion because no porcelain that could be dated that early had yet been found in China.39 The governor of Khorasan gave to Sultan Harun al-Rashid of Baghdad (reigned 786–809) twenty pieces of China, plus “a further 2,000 pieces are mentioned without any description, implying that they were of a more usual kind, already known on the Islamic scene by the beginning of the ninth century AD.” 40
Small quantities of Changsha ware have been recorded in Sri Lanka, Iran, and Kenya. Sherds of large jars like those at Belitung have been found at Dembeni, Comoro Islands. Single Changsha and Yue sherds have been reported from Unguka Ukuu, Zanzibar.41
Fustat in Egypt was prosperous from the Umayyad (661–750) to Mamluk period (1250–1517). Over one million artifacts have been recovered there, of which 10,000 consist of ceramics from China, plus a few from Thailand and Vietnam. This assemblage includes forty sherds of Tang/Five dynasties ware: Xing white, Yue Green, Changsha green, and “light-glazed earthenware with green lead glaze decoration,” the same type of ware as the Changsha sancai from the Belitung wreck.42 No coarse stoneware jars have been reported from the site.
Tenth Century Shipwrecks: Intan, Cirebon, and Karawang
Underwater archaeology began to make significant contributions to the study of ceramic production and trade in the 1990s, after many shipwrecks had already been disturbed by fishermen or looted. The quality of data from many sites is only fair to poor. The Intan shipwreck, from the Five dynasties period, provided some of the most accurate information on an early cargo of Chinese ceramics from Guangdong, Fujian, and Zhejiang Provinces. The ship had also taken aboard some large jars with a turquoise-green glaze from the Near East, probably Persia.43 The ship, found off southeast Sumatra in the shipping lane that leads from the South China Sea to Java, almost certainly was built in Indonesia and can be dated around 930. Almost 8,000 intact or nearly intact ceramics were recovered; smaller sherds, however, were not collected. This is usual in cases of shipwrecks, where the quantity of artifacts almost always exceeds the resources available to collect, store, conserve, and analyze them.
Chinese wares on board came from several kiln complexes, including Ding or Xing white ware (Hebei Province) and green Yue-type ware from Zhejiang. Other ceramics included earthenware from southern Thailand, and large blue-green glazed jars from the Persian Gulf.
One important aspect of research on this wreck was the careful plotting of the types of cargo, which enabled the archaeologist to reconstruct its loading pattern. The Chinese ceramics had been loaded on top of tin from the Malay Peninsula. The ship had probably gone first to northwest Malaysia to acquire tin, then to Sumatra, where it loaded Chinese ceramics and metal objects brought there on another ship, then set sail for Java.
The Cirebon or Nanhan wreck is an Indonesian vessel found in 2003. An inscribed date of 968 CE on one bowl provides a terminus post quem for the site. It is estimated that 300,000–500,000 ceramics were on board.44 This figure is amazing in view of the fact that Java’s population was perhaps 2 million at most. Careful plotting of items on the site led to a surprising conclusion: that the cargo was under the control of a single authority, not stowed according to bundles or holds allocated to individual traders, as Chinese sources suggest was the normal pattern.45 This could be explained by an extreme degree of specialization in which each merchant dealt only in one type of commodity, but this was not true of commercial organization during the early period of European contact with Southeast Asia. The data are, however, consistent with the model of “tributary trade,” according to which exchanges between kingdoms were conducted through semi-official channels in a few large transactions, rather than through a large number of small business deals.
The Middle Period: Song-Yuan Dynasties (960–1367)
International trade in Chinese ceramics expanded exponentially during the Song and Yuan dynasties. Fifty thousand sherds of Longquan celadon are said to have been found on one beach at Kamakura, Japan, marking the expansion of ceramic trade to northeast Asia.46 The Sinan shipwreck found in Korean waters sank around 1325 with a cargo of Chinese ceramics.47 The great market for this commodity, however, was Southeast Asia.
During the Song-Yuan era, Quanzhou may have been the largest seaport in Asia. It was also a major center of pottery making. The number of kilns there increased from four during the Tang/Five dynasties to fifty kilns during the Song-Yuan in one of Quanzhou’s seven prefectures. It has been estimated that 100,000 people or 10 percent of the population of the Minnan region worked in the ceramic industry during the late Song/early Yuan. The growth of Fujian’s ceramic industry was probably fueled by new access to overseas markets; its decline was probably due to the Ming policy against foreign trade. In the Ming dynasty, the figure shrank to just four again.48 Guangdong continued to play a role as a pottery-producing area, but Fujian, Zhejiang, and Jiangxi were the three main exporting regions.
In a survey of north-central Java, Song pottery was found in over 120 sites in an area of 2,500 square kilometers. Many of these sites were located on transport routes to the hinterland, but no survey has been conducted in the inland area.49 Excavations and surveys at the two main ports in south Sumatra (Palembang and Jambi) in the early 1990s recovered Chinese ceramics of several varieties from the 11th and 12th centuries from Fujian, Guangdong, and Zhejiang.50
Kota Cina (“Chinese Fort”) in northeast Sumatra has yielded the most information on Chinese ceramics of any site from the Song dynasty outside China.51 The site probably formed around 1080 and was abandoned around 1260. The majority of Chinese ceramics consisted of sherds of large storage jars from Cizhou and Guangdong. The most common porcelain was Zhejiang green ware, including Longquan celadon. White wares included qingbai, Dehua, and some Ding-type sherds. A few Cizhou ceramics were also present.
In an excavated assemblage weighing 737 kilograms, Chinese porcelain represented 13 percent; Chinese stoneware, 22.5 percent; local earthenware, 64.5 percent.52 Comparable statistics are difficult to obtain, but this is the highest reported proportion of Chinese to local wares of any site outside China for the Song dynasty.53 The high frequency of Chinese pottery and other artifacts, from coins to gold foil scraps with Chinese characters, suggests that it was a seasonal encampment.
Chinese ceramics of the Song-Yuan period are also found in the Sumatran highlands, sometimes near ancient gold mines. One of these is Padang Lawas, where more than twenty brick temples dedicated to esoteric Buddhism were built during the Song period. Four thousand Song dynasty sherds have been found in excavations there; 75 percent are Guangdong ware of the northern Song. Longquan and Tongan ware, Yaozhou ware, and a few qingbai sherds have been found, but no Dehua or Putian ware typical of other sites of the late Yuan period.54
The Song dynasty roughly coincides with the Angkor Empire in mainland Southeast Asia. In Cambodia, Chinese ceramics are found mainly at buildings in the palace complex. At Prasat Suor Prat, a row of buildings that face the royal palace, over 15,000 potsherds has been found, of which 10 percent are good-quality Chinese ware. Out of 207 Chinese sherds in one study, 119 were celadons, 64 qingbai, and 24 other white ware. An unusual feature of the Angkor assemblage is a strong preference for white covered boxes, a form that was also common in Khmer glazed stoneware. Excavations in the Royal Palace site yielded imported wares (5,425 sherds), most of which are Chinese, about 10 percent of the ceramic assemblage. Yue ware was absent.55
Barus on Sumatra’s northwest coast consists of several sectors. The oldest sector, Lubok Tua, contained Persian Gulf artifacts from the 9th or 10th century and artifacts from Egypt-Syria, from the 12th century. Chinese ceramics from the 10th to mid-12th century were present but not common.56 At Bukit Hasang, which mainly dates from the 14th century, ceramics consisted of 138,000 sherds of earthenware, and 46,000 Chinese sherds, mainly from Guangdong, some from Zhejiang and Jiangxi. Only about sixty Yuan cobalt decorated bowls were present. 57 The site also yielded about 2,000 sherds from the “Indo-Persian World.”
Chinese ceramics in mainland Southeast Asia and western Indonesia are almost always found in the form of sherds. Burials from the historic period are almost non-existent; cremation was generally practiced. In the Philippines, Borneo, eastern Indonesia, and the Riau Archipelago, Chinese ceramics were often interred with the dead. This custom has provided great incentive for looting of graves since foreigners began collecting Chinese wares in the Philippines as early as 1881.58 Politically influential families sponsored amateur excavations.59 Most of our data on Chinese ceramics in these areas come from intact items without contexts.
A few exceptions to this generalization exist. Carl E. Guthe, who explored the Visaya Islands in the 1920s, recovered many sherds of Chinese ceramics, which he recorded carefully and deposited at the University of Michigan.60 A few burial sites have been systematically excavated. The Santa Ana site in Manila was excavated by people with no archaeological training, but who worked systematically and produced one of the most important publications on the archaeology of Chinese ceramics in Southeast Asia.61 They excavated 202 graves with 1,397 Chinese ceramics, most from the Song-Yuan period. The most common type of ware was brown-glazed stoneware (37 percent), followed by celadon (26 percent). Only twenty-nine cobalt blue decorated pieces were found. The authors of the excavation report mentioned that thousands of other ceramics from excavations (unsystematic) from Batangas province “passed through their hands” during the nine months of the 1961 excavation, as well as some from Puerto Galera, Mindoro Island, which was “unparalleled in the variety and wealth of ceramic recoveries.” They estimated that 10,000 pieces had been found there, dating from the 10th through 15th centuries. This provides some idea of the likely size of the ceramic trade to the Philippines and the amount of potential data lost.
Butuan in northeast Mindanao sent a mission to China in 1001. A looted shipwreck 150 kilometers west of Butuan reportedly carried a cargo of Tang white ware.62 Many exquisite gold items have been attributed to the area, as well as Chinese ceramics from the Song-Yuan era.63
The Manila Trade Pottery Seminar held in 1968 was an important event in the development of the study of the ceramic trade.64 This was one of the first scholarly conferences devoted to the subject. A long-term archaeological project in the Bais area of Negros has utilized Chinese ceramics as an important part of its epistemology.65
Cobalt Blue Ceramics
Wang Dayuan’s text contains the first known written reference to white porcelain decorated with designs painted in cobalt blue, which for centuries was one of the world’s most popular consumer items. The early export period was limited to twenty-five years between 1327 and 1352.66 After 1352, blue and white ware was rare until around 1486.67 At the time Wang was writing, this ware had just been introduced to the market. That it was immediately popular is indicated by the wide range of types made and the number of ports where it was sold. This ware was made entirely for export; the Chinese elite considered blue and white porcelain “vulgar” until the Xuande reign in the 15th century.68
The blue color is produced by using cobalt. Some cobalt used in Yuan-period Jingdezhen was imported from the Near East. Many potters who worked for the Imperial Bureau of Manufactures, which was responsible for making the porcelain for the court at one of the kilns of Jingdezhen, Zhushan, came from Islamic countries.69
Wang Dayuan mentioned eight ports in the Straits of Melaka where blue and white porcelain was in demand. The largest quantities of sherds of this type have been found at Trowulan, capital of the Majapahit Empire in east Java, which claimed suzerainty over an area larger than modern Indonesia,70 and Singapore, which Majapahit claimed as a vassal.71
By the Yuan dynasty, some Chinese seem to have become permanent residents in Southeast Asian ports. One of the first overseas Chinese colonies may have been Singapore, which has yielded the most Yuan and early Ming sherds of any systematically excavated site. Eight locales have been studied in an area of 85 hectares where a densely-inhabited city appeared around 1300. Statistical analyses of approximately one million artifacts from the precolonial period are still in progress, but the proportion of local to Chinese ceramics is approximately equal. At Empress Place near the mouth of the Singapore River, 76 kilograms of green porcelain were recovered, of which 58 kilograms were classified as Longquan bowls. White ware from Jingdezhen and Dehua as well as other kiln sites is also common, including iron-spotted and copper-red variants. Remarkable examples include forty-eight fragments of a qingbai pillow in the form of a theater and a porcelain compass.
The white ware decorated with cobalt blue has not been completely analyzed. At St. Andrew’s Cathedral, six hundred sherds of blue and white ware were excavated, about equally divided between the Yuan/early Ming and middle to late Ming. At Fort Canning, believed to have been a palace site, three hundred blue and white sherds were excavated, all from the Yuan. At Empress Place, thirty-four sherds from the Yuan/early Ming, forty-two from the middle Ming, and thirty-five late Ming sherds were enumerated. The ceramic assemblage from five other locales has yet to be analyzed. Of the blue and white wares, bowls constituted more than 50%. Other shapes include stem cups and one bowl with compass directions and degrees painted on the interior.72
The range of designs found on Yuan blue-painted porcelain found in Singapore is limited. The duck-pond motif is one of these; it was also popular in India, where bowls with this décor comprise 38% of all Yuan wares excavated.73 The most common artifacts in Singapore are sherds of bottles with small mouths and thick bases probably made in Quanzhou. It is possible that these were designed as containers for mercury, which was a common item of trade according to Song-Yuan sources.
Chinese ceramics also penetrated deep into the interior of Sumatra and Java. Trowulan, several days’ journey from the sea according to a Ming report, was the capital of the Majapahit Empire, which claimed Singapore and Sumatra as vassals. In 1984 a scholar predicted that “Trowulan, when fully studied, will provide one of the key ceramic assemblages in the whole of South-east Asia.”74 This prophecy has not been completely fulfilled, but steps have been taken in that direction. One assemblage included 127 objects from the 9th to 13th century, including Yue celadon of the 9th or 10th century, 135 objects from the 13th to early 14th century, and 1,627 sherds from the late 13th and 14th centuries, including Jingdezhen blue and white and Cizhou wares. The late 14th century was represented by 1,290 pieces, about 30 percent of which were Vietnamese. During the 15th to 16th centuries, of 4,198 estimated pieces, Vietnamese was the most numerous, followed by Longquan celadon, then Thai celadon.75 These data indicate both the scale of Chinese imports to this hinterland site, and the decline of Chinese porcelain exports during the Ming dynasty.
A collection of blue and white sherds from Trowulan was given to the Asian Civilisations Museum and the National University of Singapore in 2006 by the family of a late president of the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society. The collection comprises 6,254 blue and white sherds, of which 2,904 represent large jars, mainly from the Yuan period.76
A survey of Trowulan conducted from 1991 to 1993 recovered 4103.7 kg of finds; Chinese porcelain and stoneware mad up 10 percent, but the proportion of Chinese wares to local ware in different parts of the site varied considerably: from 6 percent to 35 percent. Trowulan is probably representative of the concentration of Chinese ware in a large and prosperous hinterland society of Java during the 14th through 15th centuries.77
Shipwrecks of the Song-Yuan Period
Several important underwater sites of this period are known; all are Southeast Asian ships. Pulau Buaya (“Crocodile Island”) 100 kilometers south of Singapore78 and the Jepara wreck off north Java, 79 both carried large cargoes of Chinese ceramics. The Java Sea Wreck sank around the end of the Song dynasty. She was an Indonesian vessel carrying at least 100,000 ceramics, the majority of which were utilitarian wares, green glazed bowls, and dishes from Fujian kilns. Brown-glazed jars from Guangzhou were present as containers for perishable commodities.80
The biggest Yuan shipwreck yet discovered was found near Sinan, Korea, in 1976. After looting, 12,359 celadons, 5,303 white porcelains, 506 black-glazed ware, and 2,305 stoneware jars were recovered.81 The ship contains many types of porcelain very similar to those found in Singapore but no blue and white ware. Despite the implication that the ship was bound for Japan, few Yuan sherds have been found there. They are more common in Okinawa;82 Katsuren castle has yielded over 250 Yuan blue and white sherds.
Central Asia: Song-Yuan–Period Finds
Few remains of ceramic trade have been found along the overland Silk Road. One important exception is Khara-Khoto, near China’s western border. This was an important caravan stop; inscriptions found there are mainly in Tangut language, with others in Mongolian, Chinese, Arabic, and Syrian. The Tangut period began around 1100 and was replaced by the Mongolian phase, 1226–1380. The Hermitage in St. Petersburg has 1,911 ceramics from the site, including over 600 Yuan blue-and-white porcelains.83 The National Museum of Mongolian History has about 300 sherds, including 16 Yuan blue and white artifacts among 300 examples from an excavation conducted in 1948–1949.84
Song-Yuan Ceramics in the Indian Ocean
Few Chinese sherds have yet been discovered in India, despite explorations specifically searching for them. The coast of Andhra Pradesh yielded fewer than 100 sherds from the 13th and 14th centuries. In Tamil Nadu, Periyapattinam yielded about 1,300 Chinese sherds, 10 percent blue and white. Small quantities have been found at a few other sites in Tamil Nadu, mainly Yuan at the earliest. Aoyagi and Ogawa found 720 sherds of Chinese ceramics at twenty-four sites.85
In Sri Lanka, the northern port of Mantai and the Buddhist complex of Anuradhapura have yielded Yue, Henan green-splashed white ware, Hebei and Guangdong white ware, Guangdong brownish-green glazed ware, and Changsha ware. Persian turquoise and lusterware have been found in the same locations.86
Chinese records mention missions from West Asia bringing tribute such as horses and camels, and requesting presents including porcelain.87 Archaeological research at Siraf, a major port on the Persian Gulf in the 10th and 11th centuries, has yielded 3,000 sherds of Chinese ware, mainly green.88 Qais Island, which replaced Siraf in the 12th to 14th centuries, has a higher proportion of Chinese ceramics, including celadon and a few blue and white sherds. Some blue and white has also been found in the hinterland sites of Nishapur and Meshhed, but the Red Sea replaced the Persian Gulf as the main link to China in the 11th century.89
The two biggest and oldest collections of Yuan blue and white in West Asia are the Topkapu Saray in Istanbul, Turkey, and the Ardebil Shrine in Iran. The Topkapu collection began to form around 1453 and includes 10,000 ceramics, of which 8,000 are Chinese. The oldest are a few greenwares from the 13th century; the majority consists of blue and white ware from the 14th to 18th centuries. Of these, thirty-one pieces date from the Yuan.90 The Ardebil Shrine is part of a grave complex for a Sufi mystic in Iran near Azerbaijan. The collection once numbered 1,162 pieces, of which roughly half remain. Three pieces may date from the 13th century. Over 75 percent of the collection consists of blue and white porcelain, thirty-two of which date from the Yuan. One Yuan dish has a Persian inscription, demonstrating that it was commissioned. Both collections show that blue and white surpassed green in popularity in the 16th century in West Asian society. 91
Fostat (Old Cairo) was the capital of Egypt during the Fatimid dynasty. The assemblage of Chinese ceramics excavated there is similar to that found in Barus.92 Excavations focused on a residential cum industrial zone where pottery forms a large proportion of dense refuse. Chinese ceramics represent about 3 percent of the sherds there; almost half date from the Qing period. Song-Yuan wares mainly consist of Longquan green sherds. Yuan blue and white porcelain contributed 298 sherds. No utilitarian stoneware is mentioned, suggesting that the pattern of ceramic trade was very different from Southeast Asia, where utilitarian stonewares, mainly jars, outnumber higher-quality ceramics.93
Adhyab on the Red Sea may have been Fustat’s port. Nine hundred ninety-nine Chinese sherds found there include forty 14th-century blue and white.94
A British official in Zanzibar in the 1880s formed a collection of Song celadon found in ruins together with Chinese coins.95 Chinese archaeologists have identified thirty-seven sites in Kenya with Chinese ceramics from the Yuan through middle Ming period. Longquan constitutes 83–89 percent of 9,552 sherds from these sites, with some cobalt blue ware. At Kilwa Bay, Kenya, one site yielded 107 sherds of green and white glazed fine stoneware and 126 sherds of jars from the period 950–1250. At a nearby site of the late 13th to early 16th centuries, 41 East Asian ceramics made up 0.46 percent of the ceramic assemblage.96 Chinese wares normally constitute less than 1 percent of the ceramics at African sites. The distribution pattern of Chinese ceramics indicates that they were only possessed by the elite.
Very few Chinese ceramics penetrated the hinterland. At the Great Zimbabwe site, about twenty sherds of the period 1300–1500 have been discovered.97
One of the main hinterland sites where a range of qingbai, celadon, and cobalt decorated sherds have been found is Ankadivory, highland Madagascar. Madagascar was discovered and settled by Malayo-Polynesians around 500 CE; these ceramics suggest contact between Madagascar and Southeast Asia after the original immigration took place. It is possible that the ceramics found along the Kenyan coast came via Madagascar as the result of direct voyaging from Southeast Asia, rather than via the coastal route leading to India and the Persian Gulf. No Chinese wares seem to have been found along the coast between southern Kenya and the Arabian Peninsula.
The Late Period: Ming through Qing Dynasties
Chinese ceramic trade flourished until the 1350s, when the Yuan dynasty began to reel under rebel attacks. The Yuan fell in 1368. The first emperor of the Ming dynasty, desirous of obliterating all traces of the Yuan, forbade private trade between Chinese and foreigners and reinstated the ancient tributary system. Foreign countries began to send many missions, but Hongwu, seeing this as evidence of commercial motives rather than a desire to obtain virtue by acknowledging the Son of Heaven as their overlord, forbade them from sending missions too frequently.
The period from the late 14th to late 15th century is termed the Ming Gap in Southeast Asian archaeology, due to the scarcity of Chinese ceramics in Southeast Asian sites. Scholars still are uncertain about the dating of Chinese ceramic styles from this era. The period between 1436 and 1464 is particularly mysterious. Even for the Hongzhi reign, 1488–1503, little porcelain from Jingdezhen is known.
Late Ming sherds found at Empress Place, Singapore, prove that a trading port existed there after Melaka fell to the Portuguese. Most of the Ming items were small bowls, though some other shapes such as vases with long thin necks also appear. Archaeological research in the Philippines at two burial sites yielded 411 Chinese ceramics from this period, 68 percent of which are blue and white.98
Shipwrecks of the Ming Dynasty
Ships built in the Ming dynasty that combine Chinese and Southeast Asian shipbuilding techniques are termed “South China Sea Tradition” ships. Over twenty South China Sea Tradition wrecks have been found in Southeast Asia. Most carried Thai ceramics. The Santa Cruz, bound for the Philippines, carried a large cargo of Chinese ceramics. The Bakau, one of the earliest Chinese ships found in Southeast Asia, sank near Belitung around the Yongle reign (1403–1424). It carried Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese ceramics and other goods. The Turiang found off the east coast of Malaysia was of similar date, construction, and cargo.101
Europeans in the Ceramic Trade
Around 1499 Vasco da Gama presented some porcelain purchased in India to King Manuel. The king immediately asked for more, but the first viceroy of India, Dom Francisco de Almeida, said that it would take time to obtain is; apparently it was not commonly available there.102
In 1567 the Chinese government reverted to the policy of allowing Chinese to undertake private trade overseas. This led to the revival of ceramic exports and the development of new ceramic types suited to various markets. In the late 16th century, a few examples reached the west coast of the Americas, brought by the Spanish to their new colonies. In the 17th century, Chinese ceramics began to reach Europe in significant quantities. During the 16th century, Portugal was the main source of Chinese porcelain in Europe. Around 1600 about 1,300 kg of porcelain was shipped home from their colony in Macao.103 This amount was miniscule compared to what was circulated in Southeast Asia. This is proven by the cargo of one Portuguese ship, the Santa Catarina, which was captured by the Dutch and taken to Amsterdam, where the cargo was auctioned. The porcelain on board the ship weighed 60 tons.104
By the late 17th century, high-quality blue and white porcelains from kilns around Jingdezhen had become a prominent part of this trade. By one estimate, Chinese junks carried two million pieces of porcelain to Batavia each year; around 400,000 items were purchased by the Dutch East India Company, another 400,000 by private merchants, and 1,200,000 by local traders.105
The Binh Thuan wreck off southern Vietnam was a Chinese junk, laden with ceramics produced at the Zhangzhou kilns of Fujian province, once commonly referred to as Swatow ware, after the port from which it was exported. Zhangzhou porcelain was designed for export to Japan and insular Southeast Asia. Some of it reached Europe.106 The Wanli wreck carried Jingdezhen blue and white kraak porcelain (another style that appeared in the late Ming, much of which was exported).107 The ship was built for the Portuguese in India and probably was sunk by the Dutch while it was on its way to Melaka from Guangzhou around 1625.108
The Vung Tau wreck in south Vietnam109 was a lorcha, a hybrid Chinese-Portuguese ship carrying porcelain of the late Kangxi period (1662–1722). Much of the porcelain was made for the European market, probably via Batavia; the rest was for the use of the overseas Chinese community. Kangxi porcelain found its way into elaborate household displays in Europe.
Future Study of the Field
It is necessary to train Southeast Asian archaeologists to analyze ceramics, both Chinese and local. Collections from archaeological sites in the region need to be quantified, and the results must be made available, ideally in online databases. Terminology and classification need to be standardized. Underwater archaeology needs to be prioritized before all sites in the South China Sea are destroyed by looting. Underwater archaeology in the Indian Ocean needs to be developed.
Discussion of the Literature
John Miksic has written a book containing a detailed overview of the history and archaeology of maritime trade in the Indian Ocean and South China Sea.110
Underwater archaeology in Southeast Asia has been handicapped by disputes over the ethics of private–public collaboration. The arguments on this subject have been summarized.111 Shipwrecks can provide great precision in the efforts to date specific wares, and to unravel their role in trading networks at different periods.
The Oriental Ceramic Society based in London began publishing its Transactions in 1921. Important books on Chinese ceramics were published in the 1930s.112 The field has grown enormously since then. Many specialized works are now available. Interest in Chinese ceramics found outside China has evolved from an attitude that disparaged “export quality” wares as of no significance to a field of study that acknowledges the importance of this material as a source of data for economic, political, artistic, and cultural interchange among many cultures.
Chinese porcelain reached Spanish America in the late 16th century via the first Manila galleons. This trade continued for 250 years.113 No less a person than the first president of the United States of America was a collector.114
The subject of Chinese porcelain trade has generated an enormous literature. It is difficult to summarize this body of work in a few words. Reading lists are common on the internet. The field is rapidly evolving, but three of the best available the time of writing are:
The Smithsonian Reading List for Ceramics of China;
The V&A (Victoria and Albert) Museum: Chinese Ceramics Reading list;
100 Best Books on Chinese Porcelain.
A comprehensive list of publications is found in Cheng Pei-kai, ed., China Westward: Bibliography and Research Guide. Chinese Porcelain and East-West Maritime Trade, 12th to 15th C. (Hong Kong: Chinese Civilization Centre, City University of Hong Kong, 2005).
The Underwater Archaeology Research Centre of the National Museum of China (Beijing) publishes a journal entitled Studies of Underwater Archaeology. The first article in volume 1 of this journal by Zhang Wei provides a history of underwater archaeology and its development in China. Many of the articles in the first volume, published in 2012, 418 pages long, deal with ceramics from shipwrecks (in Chinese).
The world’s greatest collections of Chinese porcelain in public museums outside of China are commonly held to be (in no particular order):
Tokyo National Museum;
National Museum of Korea, Seoul;
Museum Pusat Jakarta;
Iran Bastan Museum, Teheran;
The British Museum, London;
Victoria and Albert Museum, London;
Musée Guimet, Paris;
Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm;
The Arthur M. Sackler and Freer Gallery of Art, National Museums of Asian Art at the Smithsonian Institution; Washington, DC;
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston;
The Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art, New York;
These collections have been described in a series entitled Oriental Ceramics: The World’s Great Collections (Tokyo: Kodansha International ltd., 1976–1978), a rare and expensive publication.
Another important museum collection is devoted to early blue and white ware found in a museum in the Netherlands: Barbara Harrisson, Swatow. (Leeuwarden: Gemeentelijk Museum het Princessehof, 1979).
Brown, Roxanna. Ming Gap and Shipwreck Ceramics in Southeast Asia: Towards a Chronology of Thai Trade Ware. Bangkok: River Books, 2009.Find this resource:
Brown, Roxanna, and Sten Sjostrand. Maritime Archaeology and Shipwreck Ceramics in Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur: Department of Museums and Antiquities, 2003.Find this resource:
Carswell, John. Blue and White: Chinese Porcelain and Its Impact on the Western World. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1985.Find this resource:
Crick, Monique. Chinese Trade Ceramics for South-East Asia. Genéve: Fondation Baur, 2010.Find this resource:
Flecker, Michael. “The Jade Dragon wreck: Sabah, East Malaysia.” The Mariner’s Mirror 98.1 (2012): 9–29.Find this resource:
Harrisson, Barbara. Chinese Porcelain: Traditions of Manufacture and Sale. Leeuwarden: Museum het Princessehof, 1974.Find this resource:
Ho Chuimei. “Chinese Presence in Southern Thailand before 1500 A.D. from Archaeological Evidence.” In China and the Maritime Silk Road, 290–307. Quanzhou: International Seminar on China and the Maritime Routes of the Silk Roads Organization Committee, 1991.Find this resource:
Ho Chuimei. “The Ceramic Boom in Minnan.” In The Emporium of the World: Maritime Quanzhou, 1000–1400. Edited by A. Schottenhammer, 237–281. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2001.Find this resource:
Ho Chuimei and M. N. Smith. “Gaps in Ceramic Production and the Rise of Multinational Traders in 15th-century Asia.” Taida Journal of Art History 7 (September 1991): 1–28.Find this resource:
Howard, David Sanctuary. New York and the China Trade. New York: The New-York Historical Society, 1984.Find this resource:
Kerr, Rosemary, and Luisa Mengoni. Chinese Export Ceramics. London: V&A Publications, 2011.Find this resource:
Kerr, Rosemary, and Nigel Wood, with contributions from Ts’ai Mei-Fen and Zhang Fukang. Science and Civilisation in China, vol. 5, part 7: Ceramic Technology. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2004.Find this resource:
Kwan, K. K., and Jean Martin, eds. A Ceramic Legacy of Asia’s Maritime Trade: Song Dynasty Guangdong Wares and Other 11th–19th Century Trade Ceramics Found on Tioman Island, Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur: Southeast Asian Ceramic Society, West Malaysia Chapter, 1985.Find this resource:
Lam, Peter L. K. “Dating Criteria for Chinese Blue and Whites of the Mid to Late 15th Century from Shipwrecks.” Taoci 2 (2001): 35–46.Find this resource:
Li Bao Ping, Jianxin Zhao, Alan Greig, Kenneth D. Collerson, Yuexin Feng, and Michael Lawrence. “The ‘Fingerprinting’ of Chinese Porcelains by Analysis of Trace Elements and Isotopes.” The Oriental Ceramic Society Newsletter 14 (May 2006): 7–9.Find this resource:
Li Jianan. “The Zhangzhou Kiln: A Review of Recent Archaeological and Research Trends in the PRC.” In Zhangzhou Ware Found in the Philippines, edited by Rita Tan, 33–41. Manila: Yuchengco Museum; Oriental Ceramic Society of the Philippines, 2007.Find this resource:
Liu Liangyu. “Some Specimens of Trade Ceramics Unearthed in Taiwan and Penghu: A Discussion of Certain Questions Concerning Kiln Origins.” In International Symposium on Ancient Chinese Trade Ceramics: Collected Papers, 225–252. Taipei: National Museum of History, 1994.Find this resource:
Miksic, John N. “Chinese Ceramics and Local Cultural Statements in Fourteenth-Century Southeast Asia.” In Studies in Southeast Asian Art: Essays in Honor of Stanley J. O’Connor. Edited by Nora A. Taylor, 194–216. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, Southeast Asia Program, 2000.Find this resource:
Miksic, John N. “Chinese Ceramics and the Economics of Early Southeast Asian Urbanisation, 14th to 16th Centuries.” Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association 26 (2006): 147–153.Find this resource:
Miksic, J. N., Yap Choon Teck, Sam Fong Yau Li, and Kebao Wan. “EDXRF Analyses of Some Yuan Dynasty Artifacts Excavated in Singapore.” Keji Kaogu luncong [Studies in Archaeometry] 2 (2000): 228–236.Find this resource:
Pierson, Stacey. From Object to Concept: Global Consumption and the Transformation of Ming Porcelain. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2013.Find this resource:
Prishanchit, Sayan. “Maritime Trade during the 14th to 17th Century: Evidence from the Underwater Archaeological Sites in the Gulf of Thailand.” In Ancient Trades and Cultural Contacts in Southeast Asia, 275–300. Bangkok: The Office of the National Culture Commission, 1996.Find this resource:
Schama, Simon. The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988.Find this resource:
Wade, Geoff, trans. (2005). The Ming Shi-Lu (Veritable Records of the Ming Dynasty) an Open Access Resource. Singapore: Asia Research Institute and the Singapore E-Press, National University of Singapore.Find this resource:
Yau Hok La, ed. Yuan and Ming Blue and White Ware from Jiangxi. Hong Kong: Jiangxi Provincial Museum and the Art Museum, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2002.Find this resource:
Zhang Bai, ed. Zhongguo chutu ciqi quanji [Complete Collection of Ceramic Art Unearthed in China]. 16 vols. Beijing: Kexue, 2008.Find this resource:
(1.) Stephen W. Bushell, Description of Chinese Pottery and Porcelain (Being a Translation of the T’ao Shuo) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1910), xii.
(2.) Basil Gray, Early Chinese Pottery and Porcelain (London: Faber and Faber, 1953), 11–12.
(3.) Francis Ross Carpenter, trans. The Classic of Tea by Lu Yü. Boston: Little, Brown 1974, 90–93.
(4.) Wang Qingzheng, ed., Yue Ware: Miseci Porcelain (Shanghai: Gujichubanshe, 1996).
(5.) Friedrich Hirth and W. W. Rockhill, Chau Ju-Kua: His Work on the Chinese and Arab Trade in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries, entitled Chu-fan-chi (St. Petersburg: Imperial Academy of Sciences, 1911), 19.
(6.) Hirth and Rockhill, Chau Ju-Kua, 31.
(7.) Yang Shaoxiang, “A Brief Account of Ceramic Exports from Guangdong during the Tang and Song Dynasties,” in Ceramic Finds from Tang and Song Kilns in Guangdong (Hong Kong: Fu Ping Shan Museum, University of Hong Kong, 1985), 22–31.
(8.) Hirth and Rockhill, Chau Ju-Kua, passim.
(9.) T. Volker, Porcelain and the Dutch East India Company (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1954); and C. J. A. Jörg and M. Flecker, Porcelain from the Vung Tau Wreck: The Hallstrom Excavation (Singapore: Sun Tree, 2001).
(10.) Bushell, Description, 181–222.
(11.) John S. Guy, “Ceramic Excavation Sites in Southeast Asia: A Preliminary Gazetteer,” in Research Centre for Southeast Asian Ceramics Papers 3 (Adelaide: Art Gallery of South Australia, University of Adelaide, 1987).
(12.) Nigel Wood, Chinese Glazes.
(13.) For example, Peter Grave and Michael Maccheroni, “Characterizing Asian Stoneware Jar Production at the Transition to the Early Modern Period, 1550–1650,” in Scientific Research on Historic Asian Ceramics: Proceedings of the Fourth Forbes Symposium at the Freer Gallery of Art, eds. Blythe McCarthy, Ellen Salzman Chase, Louise Allison Cort, Janet G. Douglas, and Paul Jett (London: Archetype Publications, 2009), 186–204. See also Cui Jianfeng, “Review of Provenance Study of Ancient Ceramics Using Chemical Analysis,” Bulletin of Chinese Ceramic Art and Archaeology 1.1 (2013): 23–28 (in Chinese).
(14.) Pensak Chagsuchinda Howitz, “Two Ancient Shipwrecks in the Gulf of Thailand: A Report on Archeological Investigations,” Journal of the Siam Society 65.2 (1977): 1–50.
(15.) See, e.g., Hainan Provincial Museum, Orientation of the Sea: Special Exhibition of Shipwreck Huaguang Reef 1 (Nanjing: Feng Feng Publishing House, 2011); and Zhong Guo Gu taoqi Xue hui [China Society for Ancient Ceramics], The Research of Export Porcelain and Color-Glazed Porcelain (Beijing: National Palace Museum, 2012) (in Chinese).
(16.) Bérénice Bellina et al., “The Development of Coastal Polities in the Upper Thai-Malay Peninsula,” in Before Siam: Essays in Art and Archaeology, eds. Nicolas Revire and Stephen A. Murphy (Bangkok: River Books/The Siam Society, 2014), 68–89.
(17.) E. W. van Orsoy de Flines, Guide to the Ceramic Collection (Jakarta: Museum Pusat Jakarta, 1975), 13–15.
(18.) John Guy, Oriental Trade Ceramics in Southeast Asia (Singapore: Oxford University Press, 1990), 2.
(19.) Ian Glover and Yamagata Mariko, “The Origins of Cham Civilization: Indigenous, Chinese and Indian Influences in Central Vietnam as Revealed by Excavations at Tra Kieu, Vietnam 1990 and 1993,” in Southeast Asian Archaeology, eds. C. T. Yeung and B. Li (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Museum, 1995), 145–169.
(20.) Pierre-Yves Manguin, “Southeast Sumatra in Protohistoric and Srivijaya Times: Upstream–Downstream Relations and the Settlement of the Peneplain,” in From Distant Tales: Archaeology and Ethnohistory in the Highlands of Sumatra, eds. D. Bonatz, J. Miksic, J. D. Neidel, et al. (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge Scholars, 2009), 434–484, esp. 443.
(21.) Wang Gungwu, “The Nanhai Trade: A Study of the Early History of Chinese Trade in the South China Sea,” Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 31.2 (1958): 1–135.
(22.) O. W. Wolters, “Tambralinga,” Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 21 (1958): 587–607.
(23.) Song Shi, 489, 22b, cited in O. W. Wolters, “A Note on the Capital of Srivijaya during the Eleventh Century,” in Essays Offered to G. H. Luce, , vol. 1, eds. B. Shin, J. Boisselier, and A. B. Griswold (Ascona: Artibus Asiae, 1966), 225–239.
(24.) Bennet Bronson, “Chinese and Middle Eastern Trade in southern Thailand during the 9th Century A.D.,” in Ancient Trades and Cultural Contacts in Southeast Asia, ed. A. Srisuchat (Bangkok: Office of the National Culture Commission, 1996), 181–200.
(25.) E.g., John Miksic and Slamet Pinardi, Kraton Ratu Boko: A Javanese Site of Enigmatic Beauty (Yogyakarta: P.T. (Persero) Taman Wisata Borobudur dan Prambanan, 2015).
(26.) Pierre-Yves Manguin, “Palembang et Sriwijaya: anciennes hypothèses, recherches nouvelles,” Bulletin de l’École française d’Extrême-Orient 76 (1987): 337–402, esp. 359.
(27.) Pierre-Yves Manguin, “Excavations in South Sumatra, 1988–1990: New Evidence for Sriwijayan Sites,” in Southeast Asian Archaeology 1990: Proceedings of the Third Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists, ed. Ian C. Glover (Hull: University of Hull, Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, 1992), 63–73.
(28.) Eka A. Putrina Taim, “Foreign Ceramics from the Site at the Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin Museum: An Analysis of the Results of the 1989–1990 Excavations” (MA thesis, University of Indonesia, 1992); Ho Chuimei and Bennet Bronson “Ceramics from the Palembang Excavation.” ACRO Update (April 1995): 1; Pierre-Yves Manguin, “Palembang et Sriwijaya: anciennes hypothèses, recherches nouvelles (Palembang Ouest),” Bulletin de l’École française d’Extrême-Orient 76 (1987): 337–402; P.-Y. Manguin, “Palembang and Sriwijaya: An Early Malay Harbour-City Rediscovered,” Journal of the Malayan Branch, Royal Asiatic Society, 66.1 (1993): 23–46, esp. 34–35; and Ho Chuimei, Pisit Charoenwongsa, and B. Bronson, “Newly Identified Chinese Ceramic Wares from Ninth Century Trading Ports in Southern Thailand,” SPAFA Digest 11.3 (1990): 12–17.
(29.) Marie-France Dupoizat, “Céramique chinoise de Barus et du Proche-Orient: analogies, différences, premières conclusions,” in Histoire de Barus: Le Site de Lobu Tua. I. Études et Documents, ed. Claude Guillot (Paris: Cahiers d’Archipel, 1998), 149–167; “Chinese Ceramics,” in Histoire de Barus Sumatra. Le Site de Lobu Tua. II. Étude archéologique et Documents, eds. Claude Guillot et al. (Paris: Cahier d’Archipel, 2003), 103–170, esp. 154, 156.
(30.) Daniel Perret and Sugeng Riyanto, “Les poteries proche-orientales engobées à décor incisé et jaspé de Lobu Tua. Étude préliminaire,” in Histoire de Barus: Le Site de Lobu Tua. I. Études et Documents, ed. Claude Guillot (Paris: Cahiers d’Archipel 30, 1998), 169–188.
(31.) Y. Subbarayalu, “The Tamil Merchant-Guild Inscription at Barus. A Rediscovery,” in Histoire de Barus: Le Site de Lobu Tua. I. Études et Documents, ed. C. Guillot (Paris: Cahiers d’Archipel, 1998), 25–33.
(32.) Mikami Sugio, “Chinese Ceramics in South-East Asia in the 9th–10th Century,” in Ancient Ceramic Kiln Technology in Asia, ed. Ho Chuimei (Hong Kong: Centre of Asian Studies, University of Hong Kong, 1990), 118–125.
(33.) Michael Flecker, “A 9th-Century Arab or Indian Shipwreck in Indonesian Waters,” International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 29.2 (2000): 199–217.
(34.) AoyagiYoji, “Excavation of the Go Sanh Kiln Complex: Champa Ceramics in the History of the Maritime Silk Road,” in Champa Ceramics Production and Trade. Excavation Report of the Go Sanh Kiln Sites in Central Vietnam, eds. Aoyagi Yoji and Gakuji Hasebe (Tokyo: The Study Group of the Go Sanh Kilns in Central Vietnam, 2002), 5–18.
(35.) Wang Gungwu, “The Nanhai Trade: A Study of the Early History of Chinese Trade in the South China Sea,” Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 31.2 (1958): 1–135, esp. 112.
(36.) R. J. Krahl, J. Guy, J. K. Wilson, and J. Raby, “The Crew and Their Possessions,” in Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds, eds. R. J. Krahl, J. Guy, J. K. Wilson, and J. Raby (Washington, DC: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, 2010), 210.
(37.) John Guy, “Rare and Strange Goods: International Trade in Ninth-Century Asia,” in Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds, eds. Regina Krahl, John Guy, J. Keith Wilson, and Julian Raby (Washington, DC: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution), 19–29.
(38.) Regina Krahl, “Chinese Ceramics in the Late Tang Dynasty,” in Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds, eds. Regina Krahl, John Guy, J. Keith Wilson, and Julian Raby (Washington, DC: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution), 46–74, esp. 52.
(39.) Bo Gyllensvärd, “Recent Finds of Chinese Ceramics at Fostat. 1,” Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities 45 (1973): 91–119, esp. 91.
(40.) Yolanda Crowe, “Early Islamic Pottery and China,” Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society (1975–1977): 263–278.
(41.) Guy, Oriental Trade Ceramics, 11; Bing Zhao, Chinese-Style Ceramics in East Africa from the 9th to the 16th Century: A Case of Changing Value and Symbols in the Multi-Partner Global Trade.
(42.) Yuba Tadanori, “Chinese Porcelain from Fustat Based on Research from 1988–2001,” Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society 76 (2011–2012): 1–17, esp. 4–5.
(43.) Michael Flecker, The Archaeological Excavation of the 10th Century Intan Shipwreck, BAR International Series 1047 (Oxford: Archaeopress, 2002), 118.
(44.) Bambang Budi Utomo, ed., Kapal Karam Abad Ke-10 Di Laut Jawa Utara Cirebon (Jakarta: Panitia Nasional Pengangkatan dan Pemanfaatan Benda Berharga Asal Muatan Kapal yang Tenggelam, 2008), 35.
(45.) Horst Liebner, “The Siren of Cirebon: A Tenth-Century Trading Vessel Lost in the Java Sea” (PhD diss., University of Leeds, 2014).
(46.) Gray, Early Chinese, 42.
(47.) Xinan Haidi Wenwu [Underwater Antiquities of Sinan], 2 vols. (Seoul: Guoli Zhongyang Bo Wu Guan/National Museum of Korea, 1977–1984).
(48.) Billy So K. L. “Trade Ceramics Industry in Southern Fukien during the Song,” Journal of Song Yuan Studies 24 (1994): 1–19.
(49.) E. W. Van Orsoy de Flines, “Onderzoek naar en van keramische scherven in de bodem in Noordelijk Midden-Java, 1940–42,” Oudheidkundige Verslag, app. A (1941–1947): 66–84.
(50.) Pierre-Yves Manguin, “Palembang and Sriwijaya: an Early Malay Harbour-City Rediscovered,” Journal of the Malaysian Branc of the Royal Asiatic Society 66 (1993): 23–46.
(51.) Edmund Edwards McKinnon, Kota Cina: Its Context and Meaning in the Trade of Southeast Asia in the Twelfth to Fourteenth Centuries (PhD diss., Cornell University, 1984).
(52.) John N. Miksic, Archaeology, Trade, and Society in Northeast Sumatra (PhD diss., Cornell University, 1979), 164.
(53.) At Kota Batu, Brunei, an assemblage consisting of 6,230 sherds from the Song, Yuan, and Ming, only contained 3.5 percent local earthenware. This is probably a reflection of collection bias. Barbara Harrisson, “A Classification of Archaeological Trade Ceramics from Kota Batu, Brunei,” Brunei Museum Journal 2.1 (1970): 114–187.
(54.) Marie-France Dupoizat, “Essai de chronologie de la céramique chinoise trouvée à Si Pamutung, Padang Lawas: Xe-début XIVe siècle,” Archipel 74 (2007): 83–106.
(55.) Marie-France Dupoizat, “La céramique importée à Angkor: étude préliminaire,” Arts Asiatiques 54 (1999): 103–116; John Miksic, “Research on ceramic Trade, within Southeast Asia and between Southeast Asia and China,” in Southeast Asian Ceramics: New Light on Old Pottery, ed. John N. Miksic (Singapore: Southeast Asian Ceramic Society/Editions Didier Millet, 2010), 70–99, esp. 76–78.
(56.) Marie-France Dupoizat, “Chinese Ceramics,” in Histoire de Barus Sumatra. Le Site de Lobu Tua. II. Étude archéologique et Documents, eds. C. Guillot et al. (Paris: Cahier d’Archipel, 2003), 103–170.
(57.) Marie-France Dupoizat, “Grés et Porcelaines des Sites de Barus Postérieurs à Lobu Tua,” Histoire de Barus III. Regards sur une place marchande de l’océan Indien (XIIe-milieu du XVIIe s.), eds. Daniel Perret and Heddy Surachman (Paris: Cahiers d’Archipel 38, 2009), 325–384.
(58.) Alfred Marche acquired Chinese wares in the Philippines in 1881, which are now in the Musée de l’Homme, Paris. Alfred Marche, Lucon et Palaouan: Six Annees de Voyages aux Philippines (Paris: Hachette, 1887).
(59.) Alison Diem, “The Heritage Politics of Indigenous and Trade Ceramics Found at Pre-colonial Sites in the Philippines” (BA hons., Murdoch University, 2002.)
(60.) Carl Guthe, “The University of Michigan Philippine Expedition,” American Anthropologist 29 (1927): 69–76. Another systematic summary of the distribution of Chinese ware in the Philippines is H. Otley Beyer, “Outline Review of Philippine Archeology by Islands and Provinces,” Philippine Journal of Science 77 (1947): 205–390.
(61.) Leandro and Cecilia Locsin, Oriental Ceramics Discovered in the Philippines (Tokyo: C. Tuttle, 1967).
(62.) William Henry Scott, Barangay: Sixteenth-Century Philippine Culture and Society (Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila Press, 1994).
(63.) Roxanna Brown, Guandong Ceramics from Butuan and other Philippine Sites (Makati: Oriental Ceramic Society of the Philippines, 1989).
(64.) John Addis, “Chinese Porcelain Found in the Philippines,” Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society 37 (1969): 17–36.
(65.) Laura L. Junker, Raiding, Trading and Feasting: The Political Economy of Philippine Chiefdoms (Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2000).
(66.) Liu Xingyuan, “Imperial Export Porcelain from Late Yuan to Early Ming,” trans. J. Ding, Oriental Art 45.1 (1998): 98–100.
(67.) Roxanna M. Brown, “Ming Gap? Data from Shipwreck Cargoes,” Southeast Asia in the Fifteenth Century and the China Factor, eds. Geoff Wade and Sun Laichen (Singapore: NUS Press, 2010), 359–383.
(68.) Adrian Joseph, “Blue and White Wares,” in South-East Asian and Chinese Trade Pottery (Hong Kong: The Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong, 1975); and Regina Krahl, “Exotic Exports to the Middle East,” in International Symposium on Ancient Chinese Trade Ceramics: Collected Papers (Taipei: National Museum of History, 1994), 16–30, esp. 21.
(69.) Liu Xingyuan, “Yuan Dynasty Official Wares from Jingdezhen,” trans. A. H-T. Lin in The Porcelains of Jingdezhen, ed. Rosemary E. Scott (London: Percival David Foundation Colloquies on Art and Archaeology in Asia, 1993), 33–46.
(70.) John N. Miksic and Kamei Meitoku, Research on Ceramics Discovered at the Trowulan Site in Indonesia (Tokyo: Senshu University, 2010).
(71.) John Miksic, Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea (Singapore: NUS Press, 2013).
(72.) Miksic, Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea, ch. 7.
(73.) Liu Xingyuan, “Yuan Dynasty official wares from Jingdezhen,” trans. A. H-T. Lin, in The Porcelains of Jingdezhen, ed. R. E. Scott (London: Percival David Foundation Colloquies on Art and Archaeology in Asia, 1993), 33–46, esp. 37.
(74.) J. C. Y. Watt, “The Dating of Chinese Ceramics and Archaeological Sites in South-East Asia,” in Studies on Ceramics, ed. Satyawati Suleiman (Jakarta: Puslit Arkenas, 1984), 187–199.
(75.) Sakai Takashi and Ohashi Koji, Ceramic Shards Found in Trowulan Site, Indonesia, Monograph Series 15 (Tokyo: Institute of Asian Cultures, Sophia University, 2014) (in Japanese).
(76.) Miksic and Kamei, Research on Ceramics.
(77.) Laporan Penelitian Arkeologi Situs-Kota Majapahit di Trowulan, Mojokoerto, Jawa Timur 1991–1993 (Jakarta: Kerjasama Pusat Penelitian Arkeologi Nasional dan The Ford Foundation, 1995).
(78.) Abu Ridho and E. Edwards McKinnon, The Pulau Buaya Wreck: Finds from the Song Period (Jakarta: Ceramic Society of Indonesia, 1998).
(79.) Atma Djuana and Edmund Edwards McKinnon, “The Jepara Wreck,” in Proceedings of the International Conference: Chinese Export Ceramics and Maritime Trade, 12th–15th Centuries, eds. Cheng Pei-Ki, Li Guo, and Wan Chui Ki (Hong Kong: Chinese Civilisation Centre, University of Hong Kong, 2005), 126–142.
(80.) William Mathers, Michael Flecker, John N. Miksic, Roxanna Brown, and Bennet Bronson, The Archaeological Recovery of the Java Sea Wreck (Annapolis: Pacific Sea Resources, 1997).
(81.) Kim Wondong, “Chinese Ceramics from the Wreck of a Yuan Ship in Sinan, Korea—With Particular Reference to Celadon Wares” (PhD diss., University of Kansas, 1986); and Xinan Haidi Wenwu.
(82.) Kamei Meitoku, “The Yuan Dynasty Blue and White Porcelain Unearted at Ryukyu from the Perspective of Ceramic Trade,” Bulletin of Chinese Ceramic Art and Archaeology 2 (2013): 65–68; and Kamei Meitoku, Excavation Sites in Japan Yielding Yuan Blue-and-White War (Kawasaki City: Asian Ceramic Society, Senshu University, 2008).
(83.) Evgeny Lubo-Lesnichenko, “The Blue-and-White Porcelain of Yuan Period from Khara-Khoto,” International Symposium on Ancient Chinese Trade Ceramics: Collected Papers (Taipei: National Museum of History 1994), 461–483.
(84.) Kamei Meitoku and Aiuddain Ochir, Ceramics Discovered at the Kharkhorum Site I, Asian Archaeology Research Report Number 2 (Fukuoka: Tokashobo, Senshu University, 2007).
(85.) N. Karashima, “Machilipatnam/Motupalli/Krishnapatnam Kottapatnam/Pulicat,” in In Search of Chinese Ceramic-sherds in South India and Sri Lanka, ed. Noboru Karashima (Tokyo: Taisho University Press, 2004), 1–10.
(86.) Mikami, “Chinese Ceramics.”
(87.) John Alexander Pope, Chinese Porcelains from the Ardebil Shrines (Washington, DC: Freer-Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, 1956), 22–23.
(88.) David Whitehouse, excavation reports in Iran, 1971, 1972, 1974. “Excavations at Sīrāf: Fourth Interim Report,” Iran 9 (1971): 1–17; “Excavations at Sīrāf: Fifth Interim Report”, Iran 10 (1972): 63–87; and “Excavations at Sīrāf: Sixth Interim Report”, Iran 12 (1974): 1–30.
(89.) Shih Ching-Fei, “Experiments and Innovation: Jingdezhen Blue-and-White Porcelain of the Yuan Dynasty (1279–1368)” (PhD diss., Oxford University, 2001); and David Whitehouse, “Kish,” Iran 14 (1976): 1–27.
(90.) John Ayers and Regina Krahl, Chinese Ceramics in the Topkapi Saray Museum Istanbul, 3 vols. (London: Sotheby’s Publications, 1986).
(91.) Moira Tampoe, Maritime Trade between China and the West: An Archaeological Study of the Ceramics from Siraf (Persian Gulf), 8th to 15th Centuries (Oxford: B.A.R. International Series, 1989.)
(92.) Marie-France Dupoizat, “Céramique chinoise de Barus et du Proche-Orient: analogies, différences, premières conclusions,” in Histoire de Barus: Le Site de Lobu Tua. I. Études et Documents, ed. Claude Guillot (Paris: Cahiers d’Archipel 30, 1998), 149–167, esp. 155.
(93.) Yuba Tadanori, “Chinese Porcelain,” 4.
(94.) Mikami Tsugio, Toji boekishi kenyu, 3 vols. (Tokyo: Chuo Koronbijutsu, 1988); and Shih, Experiments, 188–189.
(95.) Hirth and Rockhill, Chau Jukua: 127n4.
(96.) Zhao Bing, “Global Trade and Swahili Cosmopolitan Material Culture: Chinese-Style Ceramic Shards from Sanje ya Kati and Songo Mnara (Kilwa, Tanzania),” Journal of World History 23.1 (2012): 41–85.
(97.) Zhao Bing, “Chinese-Style Ceramics,” 8–9; andQin Dashu, “Archaeological Investigations of Chinese Ceramics Excavated from Kenya,” in Ancient Silk Trade Routes, eds. Qin Dashu and Yuan Jian (Singapore: World Scientific, 2015), 87–109.
(98.) Robert B. Fox, “The Calatagan Excavations: Two 15th-Century Burial Sites in Batangas, Philippines,” Philippine Studies 7 (1959): 325–390.
(99.) Michael Flecker, “Maritime Archaeology in the South China Sea,” in Southeast Asian Ceramics: New Light on Old Pottery (Singapore: Southeast Asian Ceramic Society/Editions Didier Millet, 2009), 34–47.
(100.) Monique Crick, “Les céramiques chinoises, vietnamiennes et thaïlandaises de la jonque de Lena, fin xve siècle,” Taoci 2 (2001): 71–85.
(101.) Roxanna Brown and Sten Sjostrand, Turiang: A Fourteenth-Century Shipwreck in Southeast Asian Waters (Pasadena, CA: Pacific Asia Museum, 2000).
(102.) Marie Antónia Pinto de Matos, “Chinese Porcelain in Portuguese Written Sources,” Oriental Art 48.5 (2002–2003): 36–40, esp. 37.
(103.) James Boyajian, Portuguese Trade in Asia under the Hapsburgs, 1580–1640 (London: Johns Hopkins University Press 1993), 49.
(104.) Peter Borschberg, “Cargoes of Commerce and Culture,” in Maritime Heritage of Singapore, eds. Aileen Lau and Laure Lau (Singapore: Suntree, 2005), 49–60, esp. 50.
(105.) Jörg and Flecker, Porcelain from the Vung Tau Wreck.
(106.) Michael Flecker, “A Cargo of Zhangzhou Porcelain Found Off Binh Thuan Province, Vietnam,” Oriental Art 48.4 (2002/2003): 57–63.
(107.) Maura Rinaldi, Kraak Porcelain: A Moment in the History of Trade (London: Bamboo, 1989).
(108.) Flecker, “Maritime Archaeology,” 45.
(109.) Jörg and Flecker, Porcelain from the Vung Tau Wreck.
(110.) Miksic, Singapore and the Silk Road of the Sea.
(111.) Heidi Tan, ed., Marine Archaeology in Southeast Asia: Innovation and Adaptation (Singapore: Asian Civilisations Museum, 2012), and Michael Flecker, “Maritime Archaeology in Southeast Asia,” in Southeast Asian Ceramics, ed. John N. Miksic (Singapore: Southeast Asian Ceramic Society and National Museum, 2009).
(112.) R. L. Hobson, Catalogue of Chinese Pottery and Porcelain in the Collection of Sir Percival David, Bart., F.S.A. (London: Stourton, 1934); Handbook of the Pottery and Porcelain of the Far East Preserved in the Department of Oriental Antiquities, British Museum, 2d ed. (London: British Museum 1937); and The Chinese Exhibition: A Commemorative Catalogue of the International Exhibition of Chinese Art, Royal Academy of Arts, Nov. 1935–March 1936 (London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1936).
(113.) George Kuwayama, Chinese Ceramics in Colonial Mexico (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1997).
(114.) Susan Gray Detweiler, George Washington’s Chinaware (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1982). For a good general discussion of porcelain in early America, see Jean McClure Mudge, Chinese Export Porcelain in North America (New York: Crown Publishers, 1986).