Organized Panel Session
Over the past three decades, much Ming dynasty (1368-1644) trade ware has been discovered in excavation sites in Southeast Asia. Chinese kiln site excavations have also proliferated, helping to identify the origins of these export ceramics. Together with discoveries of Ming trade ware from shipwreck sites, these findings have been useful in dating China’s ceramic trade networks and suggest a chronological division into several periods, each characterized by the different kinds of ceramics produced and the changing locations of the Chinese kilns dominating this industry. One well-known example is the shift in popularity from celadon to blue-and-white ceramics in the course of the fifteenth century. Also significant is the short supply of Chinese export ware during the first seven decades of the Ming period, which stimulated the growing export ceramics industry in various parts of Southeast Asia. For instance, Thai potters mastered ceramics production techniques and developed green glazes inspired by Chinese wares of the Yuan and the Ming, as well as similar Vietnamese ceramics. The styles, shape, motifs, and decorations on Ming trade wares thus served both as prototypes for Thai potters to imitate and allowed them to produce ceramics that competed successfully with Chinese wares in the international market in Asia.