Khmer Ceramics  

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The ceramics of the Khmer empire are believed to have started being produced in the 9th Century.  The ceramcis are of extremely good quality and were produced in high volumes during the 11th and 12th centuries, especially around the kilns at Mout Kulen near Angkor.  There were also many provincial kilns within the borders of  present day Thailand.  The main centers of production were at Baranae and Ban Kruat in Buriram province, and at Pimai in Northeastern Thailand.  Unfortunately, because of the destruction of central government control and increasingly chaotic conditions, production of Khmer ceramics ceased by the end of 13th Century.

A majority of Khmer ceramics are glazed brown or celadon high fired stonewares, covered with a natural feldspathic, wood-ash glaze with iron, dark jade-greens or deep olive-green colors,  but can vary to nearly white, gray, honey yellow or brown.  There are also dual-glazed, dual-colored and unglazed wares in Khmer ceramics.  Khmer ceramics were made in a wide variety of shapes ranging from large storage jars, vases, covered urns to bowls, pots and covered boxes, animal shaped lime pots and oil lamps, figurines, conch shells and building material.  It is likely that many of these pieces were used for the purposes of ritual. Generally Khmer ceramics are heavy, rather brooding, somber, and serious looking pieces but all have a beauty of shape and glaze that makes them extremely appreciated by those who have an eye for art and history.



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