A FEW OBSERVATIONS ON THE USE OF CERAMICS
In Indonesia the study of ceramics is still in its initial stage. Mr. Orsoy de Flines1) who started a collection of foreign ceramics before World War II, wrote a few reports and a catalog. Mr. Abu Ridho 2) who has followed in his footsteps as curator of the ceramics collection at the Museum Pusat in Jakarta, has written a few articles and the text of a large art album of the collection.
Local pottery has been mentioned and described by prehistorians who made surveys and carried out systematic excavations. Dr. H. R. van Heekeren 3) was one of them, and our Indonesian archaeologists have had the advantage of working with him and learning from him whenever he was here in Indonesia. Dr. R. P. Soejono 4) at present the head of our National Research Centre of Archaeology, studied for many years under him when he was compiling his data on burial methods in prehistoric Bali and writing a doctoral thesis. In this thesis, Dr. Soejono mentions and describes the earthenware pots which served as funeral furniture in graves together with other objects. The younger prehistorians are also studying ancient ceramics in great detail. It is now accepted that other fields or archaeology can also benefit from the study of chance finds of excavated ceramics and ceramics sherds. Excavations recently carried out by our Classical Archaeology Division, headed by Mrs. Satari and by our Islamic Archaeology Division, headed by Mr. Hasan Ambary, have yielded many ceramic sherds which are now being intensively studied in order to be able to date the excavated sites.
* Paper presented at the Symposium on Trade Pottery in East & South- east Asia Hongkong, September 4-8,1978.