SOAS University of London

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

Saw Tun Lin

BA Hons. and MA Archaeology (Dagon University), MA History of Art and Archaeology (SOAS)
  • Research


Staff Silhouette
Saw Tun Lin
Email address:
Thesis title:
The significance of glazed ceramics in the economic life and trade networks of the Buddhist kingdoms of Myanmar in the 14th to 18th century
Year of Study:
Internal Supervisors


Saw Tun Lin is a PhD candidate at SOAS. He was an assistant lecturer of the Department of Archaeology in Dagon University, for four years. He is currently a lecturer in University of Yangon and is responsible for teaching protection and preservation of cultural heritage and the Buddhis art and archaeology.

PhD Research

"As there is lack of information and systematic analysis of glazed wares, my main research topic is to examine the glazed ceramics from 14th to 18th century settlement sites in Myanmar. The study aims to focus on the local distribution of domestic glazed wares, imported wares and related economic, social and political matters, in order to develop the reconstruction of ancient Myanmar ceramic industry. Although there were political instability and wars between three rival kingdoms – Burmese (Bamar), Mon and Rakhine, during 14th-18th century AD, there appears to have been active ceramic trade between these three states. Probably Lower Myanmar was the export of glazed wares and technology through the ports and royal courts. These included the ancient cities of Myin Saing, Mekkhaya, Pinya, Ava (Inwa) and Taungoo (Toungoo) in Central Myanmar, Pegu (Bago, Hanthawaddy) in Lower Myanmar, and Mrauk U in Western Myanmar that aroused and flourished during 15th-18th century CE. In addition to major historic cities, this research is not limited to the surface findings and evidence of small satellite towns mentioned the historical accounts.

This dissertation will address two main areas of research. Firstly, the production of local ceramics and their local distributions, especially within the present boundary of Myanmar, needs to be further analysed in order to identify the ceramic evidence for local economic networks. Secondly, the imported glazed wares unearthed and found in the 14th-18th century settlement sites will be examined as evidence for external economic connections. Given the probable taxation of kilns, use of ceramics in the royal courts, and possibly for ritual vessels, this dissertation can make an original and significant contribution to understanding the technology and aesthetics of Buddhist art in 14th to 18th century Myanmar beyond the usual focus on images of the Buddha for understanding the ‘style’ of this period."


  • Department of Archaeology (Yangon University)
  • Myanmar Archaeology Association
  • Myanmar IOCMOS


  • Archaeology of Myanmar
  • Cultural Heritage Management
  • Buddhist Art History