Molded and appliqued decorative elements on this small glazed kendi—a spouted, narrow-necked jar form common in East and Southeast Asia—take the form of a stylized frog. The jar was made in Si Satchanalai (Sawankhalok), Thailand, between the 14th and 16th centuries. Sarah Bekker acquired this object from Thailand. From 1946 through 1971, Bekker and her husband Konrad, an employee of the U.S. State Department, lived in Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand. She became a widely recognized expert in Southeast Asian archaeology and history, with particular interests in ceramics. The Bekker Collection at the UMMAA consists of more than 100 objects from her well-documented collection. Other materials collected by Bekker are at the Smithsonian Institution and Northern Illinois University. Carl Guthe excavated a virtually identical jar in the southern Philippines, and this similar vessel (also in the Museum’s collections) provides evidence of the maritime trade links that connected South Asia in this period.
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.