Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Magden, Norman E.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Art


Buddhist temples--Burma--Pagan; Decoration and ornament; Architectural--Burma--Pagan; Pagan (Burma)--Antiquities


In Burmese history, the period from the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries is known as the Golden Age of Pagan. During this time many thousands of buildings were constructed at Pagan in central Burma, as expressions of Buddhist faith. The nature, history, and beliefs of Buddhism are discussed in relation to temple building as a merit-making act. A unique feature of the exterior ornamentation of these Buddhist temples was the development of a technique for making Jataka plaques of glazed stone. The major thrust of this thesis is to offer reasons for the unconventional but successful bonding of stone and glaze which was necessary for the creation of these plaques. A scientific analysis of the mineral composition of the sandstone and glaze is included from data developed through the use of a scanning electron microscope and a polarising mi croscope. Reasons are proposed as to why the Pagan kings undertook the difficult and risky task of glazing stone which has a predilection to explode when heated. Historical data and a necessary examination of secondary sources are used to provide a context that itself along with the scientific analysis suggests persuasive reasons for the use of such an unlfkely technique. In examining these architectural adjuncts, one becomes more aware of the richness and complexity of Pagan culture.


Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations and maps.


vii, 35 pages, 18 unnumbered pages




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