Angkorian Earthenware and Its Firing Technology, Kok Phnov and Kok Bei Site, Angkor Region

An Seyma1, Chhay Rachna1, Miriam T. Stark2, Heng Piphal2, Alison K. Carter3, David Brotherson4

1APSARA National Authority, Cambodia

2University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, U.S.A.

3University of Oregon, U.S.A.

4University of Sydney, Australia

From the early phases of Angkorian state development onwards the local inhabitants manufactured a range of craft products. This included the production of earthenware ceramics. Potting communities produced a range of utilitarian wares for everyday use as well as architectural materials. Previous research and field excavations as part of the Greater Angkor Project in 2012 had identified two major production centres – Kok Phnov, in the urban centre of Angkor, and at Kok Bei in the southern confines of the city. However, our studies showed that ceramic production at Kok Phnov occurred from 9th to 12th centuries CE, whereas at Kok Bei they were manufacturing pottery from the 11th to the beginning 13th centuries CE. In 2020 and 2022, a research team of the APSARA National Authority uncovered evidence for another late Angkorian potting community, Thvea Dei Chunang, next to the Angkor Thom Capital City. Taking into consideration previous and current classifications of earthenware production centres and occupation sites in the Angkor region, this presentation discusses our current understanding of techniques of earthenware production within Angkorian society. The results indicate Angkorian potters employed slow wheel, coiling, and modelling techniques to form their cooking pots. At Kok Phnov, Kok Bei and Thvea Dei Chunang the potters did not employ the paddle and anvil method of shaping and decorating their pottery as is evident in a few rural occupation sites.