SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Murphy, Stephen A (2014) 'Sema Stones in Lower Myanmar and Northeast Thailand: A Comparison.' In: Revire, Nicolas and Murphy, Stephen A, (eds.), Before Siam: Essays in Art and Archaeology. Bangkok: River Books, pp. 353-371.

[img] Text - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Request a copy


Narrative art on Dvaravati sema stones from northeast Thailand consists primarily of jataka tales. Similarly, sema from Thaton, Lower Burma also depict jatakas and have invited comparison. Piriya Krairiksh for instance, argues that a group of Mons fled northeast Thailand from Khmer encroachment and took refuge at Thaton. He proposes that the Mons of northeast Thailand brought the sema tradition with them based on the apparent lack of Burmese forerunners. This hypothesis is problematic, as while the content of these narrative scenes are similar and at times identical, the style, composition and form of the sema from both locations differ considerably. A comparison between the narrative art on the sema from both locations illustrates that there are also various differences in terms of the mode of narrative art, the form of the sema and certain stylistic renderings. In conclusion this article shows that the sema at Thaton developed independently, drawing their inspiration from the well established Burmese tradition of carving Buddhist imagery than from those in the northeast of Thailand.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Keywords: Sema Stones, Northeast Thailand, Myanmar, Thaton, Buddhism
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Arts > Department of the History of Art & Archaeology
ISBN: 9786167339412
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2021 08:48
Funders: Other

Altmetric Data

There is no Altmetric data currently associated with this item.


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item