Arts and Culture
This paper is to discuss the recent findings on the investigation of utilitarian ceramic production and usage in South China in ethnoarchaeological perspective. The previous study on the archaeological remains along the maritime silk road in South China mainly focused on typological study, scientific testing and historical accounts, the research methods on collecting and using ethnographic data, such as ethnographies, videos and photographs on the living cultures of ceramic production centres, trade ports and villages were neglected. In this paper, we will first give a brief overview on the recent archaeological findings in ceramic production sites, ports and shipwrecks along the maritime silk road of South China, in particular, Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macau and Fujian; second, we will share the new ethnographic findings in ceramic production centres, ports, ceramic villages and potters at some of the above locations by participant observations, interviews and visual analysis of photographs. We will discuss how people weave the networks themselves through production, trade and heirloom of ceramic objects. Finally, we will compare the ceramic archaeological remains with the ethnographic data so as to translate the meanings of such static artifacts into a new insight of material culture and their interactions with the daily life of people in South China.