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Ref ID: 36748
Ref Type: Book Section in a Series
Authors: Dennison, Rory
Junker, Laura
Title: The social dynamics of porcelain trade in the eleventh to sixteenth centuries CE Philippines: a chemical composition study
Date: 2020
Source: EurASEAA14: papers from the Fourteenth International Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists. Volume 2: material culture and heritage
Place of Publication: Oxford
Publisher: Archaeopress
Abstract: This research examines how the social and political dynamics in twelfth to sixteenth century CE Philippine maritime trading polities may have affected mainland Asian trading strategies within the archipelago, as examined through typological and compositional analyses of porcelain. The variable and culturally-specific social contexts in which ceramic imports were used, their significance as a form of political currency for brokering power relationships in specific Philippine societies, and the degree to which local trade networks were available to serve as intermediaries were likely factors in Chinese merchant decisions about what porcelain forms they could most profitably market, and whether both large single shipments to prominent ports and numerous ‘island hopping’ trade voyages were practised. This paper focuses on initial results of compositional and typological analyses using LA-ICP-MS and other techniques on porcelain from the Tanjay region of Negros Island, which allow the identification of ceramic preferences in local populations of the twelfth to sixteenth centuries, and provide evidence for differing local social valuations of porcelain and their symbolic importance in activities like feasting and mortuary rites. Ceramic groupings were identified based on associated kilns involved in production, and may distinguish Philippine settlements receiving large bulk porcelain shipments directly from foreign traders from those which relied on multiple down- the-line exchanges. Though preliminary in nature, this work offers insights into the ‘demand’ side of the Southeast Asian porcelain trade.
Identifier: ISBN 9781789695946
Editors: Lewis, Helen
Volume: 2
Page Start: 10
Page End: 21
Series Editor: Lewis, Helen