Historically, ceramic studies in Southeast Asia have tended to focus on specific regions rather than on connections between regions. This panel aims at investigating ceramics over social landscapes of varying scale, to look at connections within Mainland Southeast Asia, but also, with the Islands.
The ubiquitous pottery of Neolithic Southeast Asia and later archaeological periods reveal many aspects of social ideology and behaviour among both potters and consumers in ancient communities, from domestic uses to funerary rituals. At the same time, it can be used to infer trade and to highlight the nature of social interactions with other populations at larger inter-community and inter-regional scales. Historically, ceramic studies in Southeast Asia have tended to focus on specific regions and to emphasise a very localised scale of chronology-building, rather than investigating connections between regions and viewing ceramics as a common material medium for disseminating ideas about social valuation, power structures, and diverse forms of specialisation and exchange. In this session, we would like to invite scholars to examine ceramics and their spatial distributions over social landscapes of varying scale and to look at connections not only within Mainland Southeast Asia, but also, and in particular, with the Islands, in order to understand the relationships between both zones. The panel welcomes ceramic studies focused on disparate time periods and using diverse analytical techniques. The session also aims to gather papers in honour of Professor Wilhelm G. Solheim II, who pioneered expansive studies of archaeological ceramics in Mainland and Island Southeast Asia.