Buried in Jars: Earthenware Containers and Mortuary Practices in Taiwan and the Philippines

The conference will be accessible simultaneously online and onsite at NCKU.

Simultaneous translation from Chinese to English will be available to participants online.



Registration (limited spots available):



Earthenware burial containers, also known as burial jars, are ceramics used to place and/or store human remains. They may be used to bury dead persons -whether infants or adults- or as secondary burial urns. Burying deceased in jars is a practice attested across Taiwan and Southeast Asia, and in particular the Philippines, from the Neolithic to the Metal Age period (circa 500 BCE – CE 500). Burial jars are found in various environments and contexts: in open air sites and caves/rock-shelters; within dedicated cemeteries and in areas used for domestic activities. Jar burial practices inter-relate pottery-making traditions and knowledge on the one hand, and customs of specific society on the other hand, which particularly connect to the mental sphere, belief, and cosmology of their culture. This gives jar burial studies a unique position to examine the entanglements of prehistoric Taiwan and the Philippines, as it involves artefacts, mortuary practices and cultural discourse. Some researchers have been focusing on bioarchaeological evidence, others tackled the ways mortuary rituals are expressed, and others have been dedicated to the jars themselves. Although during the Metal Age, some of the sites yielding burial jars from various areas in Taiwan and the Philippines were likely in contact, little large-scale comparative research has been conducted. This conference aims at gathering scholars conducting research on burial jars in Taiwan and the Philippines to facilitate regional comparisons and discuss human behaviors when facing death and taking care of the deceased. The conference should allow to better characterize regional patterns and localized developments.


Contact: EFEO Taipei: - 886 2 26 52 31 77

NCKU Institute of Archaeology:



Sponsored by

Institute of Archaeology, National Cheng Kung University

French School of Asian Studies (EFEO)

Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Taiwan

National Cheng Kung University (NCKU)

Bureau français de Taipei (BFT)