Jar, Sa Huỳnh culture, Southern Central Vietnam, c. 5th-2nd century BCE. Pottery, pigment. 4-11/16 x 7 x 7 in. (11.9 x 17.8 x 17.8 cm). The Alan and Dena Naylor Southeast Asian Art Fund (2001.31.3). Minneapolis Institute of Art

Note: Iron age earthenware objects exhibit a number of local variations in south central Vietnam. The group shown here, when compared to other Sa Huỳnh ceramics, displays a finer workmanship; with balanced shapes, precise potting, neatly impressed and incised designs, carefully applied and partially burnished surfaces. The amount of decoration and the fact that all four jars were retrieved from the same burial indicates that they served a ritual or ceremonial purpose. More elaborate then everyday utilitarian ware, they likely held food for the deceased in the afterlife.