Thailand (Ban Chiang culture)

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 244

Ceramics with painted rather than impressed or incised designs date to the final phase of the Ban Chiang culture. This solid, full-bodied jar has a narrow neck, wide flaring mouth, and flat base. Alternating areas of red pigment with white geometric and curvilinear designs, and plain white bands decorate the vessel. Small white dots along the edges of the white bands, and red ones placed in the centers, along with the diamond shapes at the neck and base, add an element of playfulness to the deceptively simple design.

Ceramics from the late phase are the most numerous and well known of the Ban Chiang wares. Unlike middle-phase examples, which were often purposely shattered as they were placed in burials, late-phase Ban Chiang pieces were unbroken when they were added to the grave. Bronze adornments, particularly bracelets, are also common in Ban Chiang graves, and those from final-phase burials are generally larger and more elaborately decorated than earlier ornaments.

Jar, Earthenware with buff slip and red oxide decoration, Thailand (Ban Chiang culture)

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