Preliminary Survey on a Historical Pottery Production Site – Ma-U Village in Kyauk Myaung, Myanmar

SOAS University of London, United Kingdom

Archaeological research on glazed ceramic production has generally focused on Bagan, and the Lower Myanmar region. No production sites have yet been discovered in Upper Myanmar aside from the kilns of Myinkaba at Bagan, although glazed ceramics are often found at historical sites (14th-18th century CE). Kyauk Myaung was well-known for manufacturing glazed wares after the Alaung Phaya’s conquest of Lower Myanmar in 1757. Tradition maintains that Ma-U was the first production site chosen by the Mon potters and lasted for three years before the entire industry was moved to Shwetaik, Shwekhun and Nwenyein. Despite a short run, it was the birthplace of pottery production at Kyauk Myaung in Upper Myanmar during the 18th Century. It is impossible to locate any evidence or remnants of ancient kiln sites in Shwetaik, Shwekhun, Nwenyein and Malar due to the continuation of pottery production and rural development. However, a recent survey reveals the historical existence of ceramic production at Ma-U village. This study sets out to examine ceramic production, primarily glazed wares, in Upper Myanmar during the 18th century. Analysis of ceramics from the surface collection at Ma-U will be carried out to understand the relationship between ancient and contemporary ceramic technology. The project is designed to lay the foundations for future studies of local ceramic distribution and help archaeologists in relative dating of historical sites in the region.