Mental templates and ceramic manufacture at Neolithic An Son, Southern Vietnam

Carmen Sarjeant

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    The 1000-year Neolithic occupation of An Son in southern Vietnam consists of ceramics that belong to a tradition that was potentially ancestral to those in many other regions of mainland Southeast Asia. The forms, dimensions, modes of decoration and fabrics of the An Son ceramics throughout the site's occupation have been studied in detail. The morphological dimensions were analysed with coefficient of variation (CV) calculations and the fabrics were characterized using scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectrometry (SEM-EDX), in conjunction with statistical applications such as principal components analysis (PCA), cluster analysis and canonical variate analysis (CVA). The results suggest that a coherent method of manufacture and a mental template was applied in the manufacture of each major rim form that existed throughout the occupation of An Son. These vessel forms had a continuous evolution with evidence for conservatism in the shape and raw materials, while innovation and variation was observed in the decorative variables. The established mental templates indicate that the organization of ceramic production at An Son was linked to tradition and function in the community.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)269-287
    JournalCambridge Archaeological Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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