Lime Jar in the Form of an Elephant, 11th-12th century


By the early 1000s, much of Thailand had been consolidated under Khmer rule (802–1437 CE). A highway linking the Khorat Plateau—site of Ban Chiang ceramic production, an example of which is in the case at far left—to Angkor (in present-day Cambodia) increased regional trade and the distribution of distinctive chocolate-glazed ceramics in animal forms. This regally attired elephant resembles those used in Khmer royal processions. Such a ceramic container likely stored lime, an ingredient used in the preparation of betel, a mild stimulant popular throughout Southeast Asia.

Lime Jar in the Form of an Elephant
Accession Number
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.