Meanings of earthenware: case studies from two spice trade centers in the Maluku islands of Eastern Indonesia
(Sun Yat-Sen University)
Mahirta Mahirta (Univ. Gadjah Mada)
Paper short abstract:
This paper attempts to interpret the socio-cultural and techno-economic meanings of pottery production and distribution in Banda and Tidore, two important spice trade centers in Maluku.
Paper long abstract:
Earthenware was produced and used locally in the Maluku Islands of eastern Indonesia at least since 3,500 years ago. We know little about the cultural meanings of local earthenware in this early period besides the Austronesian dispersal. However, the Malukan societies seemed to experience significant social, cultural, political, and economic changes in the 10th-16th century when the global spice trade for Malukan spices increased. Accordingly, some changes of earthenware production and distribution in two spice trade centers, Banda and Tidroe, happened and have been observed. By putting the analyzed data into the historical contexts, this paper intends to interpret the possible meanings of earthenware changes.
Exploring the Archaeology of Everyday Living in Southeast Asia