Some archaeological finds have been discovered
from the excavation of prehistoric sites in Cambodia, which date
to the Neolithic period (5,000BCE).
One collection housed in the Lyon Museum was excavated
from the Samrong Sen site. It consists of pottery decorated with
spirals on a stippled background and dated to the late Neolithic
Maude Girard-Geslan wrote in a recent catalogue
, “the pottery built by hand, comprises containers with rounded
or footed bases. In the oldest strata of the midden, the pottery
has little or no decoration, but in the higher levels the decoration
becomes more complex, always geometrical, it some time consists
of smooth, broken or wavy bands on a dotted background”.
Recently, an archaeological excavation by the
students of the Faculty of Archaeology and other looting by local
people at Snay village (Battambang province) revealed ceramic vessels
provisionally dated to two hundred years before the Christian era.
However, the ceramics of the Angkor period are
Bernard-Philippe Groslier led expeditions to many
sites in the Angkor complex to study objects by comparing them with
the monuments where they were found. Unfortunately, his efforts
did not allow him to establish a chronology of Khmer ceramics. According
to his research, there were two methods of producing ceramics.
The first was a continuation of traditions from
the Neolithic period, the second used a potter's wheel and firing
at very high temperatures.
Despite Indian and Chinese influences, Khmer ceramics
are characterised by their own shapes and decoration.
The ancient Khmers produced three main categories of ceramics: for
architectural decoration (roof tiles, decorative finial motifs,
and etc.); for religious ceremonies: vases and statues; and some
vessels used in daily life: cauldrons, storage containers, vases,
ewers, and etc. Some ceramic objects had zoomorphic shapes such
as fish, elephants, rabbits, horses and frogs.