eMuseum Southeast Asia Ceramics

Haripunjaya (Lamphun)

Thai ceramics were among the first Southeast Asian wares to be seriously studied, starting with WA Graham’s 1922 article “Pottery in Siam” in the Journal of the Siam Society. The field only gained momentum in the 1960s following Charles Nelson Spinks’ important contributions on Tai pottery and in the 1970s from the discovery of the Prasat Ban Phluang temple site.

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Haripunjaya (Lamphun)

Although physically situated in Northern Thailand, the kilns of Haripunjaya are distinctly different. This is due to the fact that the kingdom of Lamphun in which they are located is older than others of the region and originates from the Mon-Khmers of the South. The text known as the Camadevivangsa puts the founding of the kingdom at around 750 CE and says that “because the site where the Khmers dug was used to obtain clay for making pots, it became a great pond named Ukkhalirahada [Pot Pond]” (Swearer & Premchit 1998: 113).

Haripunjaya wares are red, unglazed earthenware, generally long-necked urns and vases rather than plates or bowls, such as the example shown below. Miksic tells us they “seem to have been intended for ceremonial use, possibly as containers for cremation ashes. They are decorated with red paint or slip and incised decorations (Shaw 1989: 103–104, 238).”

Long-necked terracotta or earthenware bottle with a tapering neck; along length of neck, fine black horizontal striations and on body, incised geometric cross-hatches.
14th-16th C
H: 20 cm, D: 14 cm
Private collection

No chronology currently exists, but similar examples found at the Tak Om Koi burial sites suggest that they date between the late 14th to mid-16th centuries.
Source: Miksic 2009:57-58, 65