Stoneware jar with ox-horn shaped handles
From Silla, Korea
5th-6th century AD
For food storage
The kingdom of Silla was isolated in the south-east of the Korean peninsula, and had little interaction with other nations. It was the last of the 'Three Kingdoms' of Korea to develop, both politically and culturally. Silla's economy was based on agriculture. Jars like this were probably used as containers for grain. The jar's 'ox-horn' handles relate to this: oxen would have been used to plough the fields.
Such jars were not only used in daily life, but were also placed in stacks in tombs. It was believed that, in the afterlife, the tomb's occupant would be able to enjoy the luxuries contained in the jars. Most of the surviving jars from this period are relics excavated from tomb sites.
Silla invaded Kaya
in the early sixth century, and absorbed its technological and
cultural achievements, including pottery techniques. This jar, like
most ceramics from Silla, is made of
J. Portal, Korea - art and archaeology (London, The British Museum Press, 2000)