Carl E. Guthe excavated the vessel on the left from a cemetery site on Bohol Island in the southern Philippines during the Museum’s 1922–1925 Philippine Expedition. Our records indicate that Joseph Beal Steere collected the vessel on the right in South America (with no further information provided) in the 1870s. Although the spout and handle have broken off the Philippine example, the formal similarities between the two vessels are clear. Both Peru and the Philippines were under Spanish rule from the 16th century into the 19th century, and the Manila galleon trade connected the Philippines to New Spain from about 1565 to 1815. Although ceramics were not a focus of the trade, it is likely that pots, ideas about pottery, and perhaps artisans moved along this trade route. We have much to learn about the origins and inspirations behind these two vessels. They hint at a fascinating story of global connections and interactions between Southeast Asia and Latin America.
In honor of the University of Michigan’s 2017 bicentennial, we are celebrating the remarkable archaeological and ethnographic collections and rich legacy of research and teaching at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology by posting one entry a day for 200 days. The entries will highlight objects from the collections, museum personalities, and UMMAA expeditions. The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology is also posting each day for 200 days on Twitter and Facebook (follow along at #KMA200). After the last post, an exhibition on two centuries of archaeology at U-M opens at the Kelsey. Visit the exhibit—a joint project of the UMMAA and the Kelsey—from October 18, 2017 to May 27, 2018.