Siem Reap Conference on Special Topics in Khmer Studies
5th Annual International Conference — Siem Reap, Cambodia — December 6th to 8th, 2014

People, Pots and Places: New Research on Ceramics in Cambodia

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Following previous successful conferences on Epigraphy & Databases (2009-10), Archaeometallurgy (2011), the History of Religions (2012), and Art History & Visual Cultures (2013) the organising committee of the annual Siem Reap Conference on Special Topics in Khmer Studies is pleased to announce that the 2014 meeting will be dedicated to the topic of Ceramics.

Ceramics permeate almost every aspect of our daily life, and their ubiquity in the archaeological record makes them the quintessential cultural material in our endeavour to understand the human past. While initially neglected in favour of a focus on monuments, statuary and inscriptions, over the last few decades ceramic studies in Cambodia have contributed enormously to our understanding of Khmer cultural history. Yet despite this the diachronic and stylistic variations in Khmer ceramics are still poorly understood and chronological categories are typically very broad. New research broadens the scope of our understanding and often challenges conventional narratives about Cambodia’s past. The 5th annual Siem Reap Conference on Topics in Khmer Studies is therefore dedicated to New Research on Ceramics in Cambodia.

Conference participants will present theories, methods and interpretations derived from new data brought to light over the last few years. Each speaker will have 20 mins to present and 10 mins to field questions. Sessions will be structured around three themes: ceramic production, consumption and importation. Source characterization and investigations into kiln technologies constitute the primary advances in ceramic production studies. Likewise the recent surge in archaeological investigation in Cambodia has led to a more nuanced understanding of consumption and trade patterns, while imported wares function as important chronological markers and bear witness to the breadth of ancient trade networks. The full chronological extent of Cambodian ceramic culture will be considered, from the earliest times until the present day, and experimental and ethnographic studies are also encouraged.