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Long-necked stoneware jar

 

Height: 23.700 cm

William Gowland Collection
Bequeathed by Sir A.W. Franks

Asia OA OA+601

Asia

    Long-necked stoneware jar

    From Silla, Korea
    Three Kingdoms period, 5th-6th century AD

    Used for ceremonies, rituals and in burials

    Two types of stoneware jars were made in Silla. Short-necked jars were used to store grain or liquid, while long-necked jars, often with a pierced stand, were used for ceremonies and placed in the tomb with the dead. Burial chamber were filled with such pieces, which were meant to serve the dead in the afterlife. A great deal of our understanding about the material culture of Silla comes from such burial goods.

    Archaeological evidence indicates that this ceramic type was first developed in the Kaya region, and subsequently adopted in Silla. While earlier coil-built pottery was uneven and restricted in form, the Kaya-Silla wares were thrown on a fast wheel giving them thin, and even walls. They were fired at high temperature (about 800°C), in efficient, large single-chambered kilns, which made them tough and non-porous.

    During the firing process, ash from the burning wood would sometimes melt onto the clay body, forming a natural glaze. Korean potters soon took advantage of this and would regularly shake the firewood to encourage the ash to disperse and fall onto the body of the pot. Many long-necked jars show traces of this natural glaze.

    J. Portal, Korea - art and archaeology (London, The British Museum Press, 2000)

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