top of page

Traces of history

What's the story?

Image: Ming bowl, Cultural Collection ARC2012.4.5.GSP.

Source: City of Parramatta Council

Note: Works best on Chrome or Safari

The Parramatta Heritage Office has been digitally scanning its important heritage objects, to share Parramatta's important history more widely.  


Found during an archaeological dig in 1985 at 1-3 George St in Parramatta, the 'Ming Bowl' was discovered alongside small Aboriginal stone artefacts, as well as earthenware, clay pipes, sandstone bricks and clay tiles, indicating both Aboriginal and Colonial presence. The site is one of the earliest convict built huts erected in Parramatta, 1790.

The Ming Bowl has been dated from between 1400 – 1460.  

How did it come to be in Parramatta? No one really knows. 

It may have come to Australia as an heirloom, purchased in China during someone's passage between Britain and Australia.  It may represent early trade with China.

We have to guess what kind of life it had and how it came to be here. 

More references

Go to the City of Parramatta Heritage Centre for more info. 

Art Sets: Chinese Porcelain”, Art Gallery of NSW. 

McDowall, C (2014) “Chinese Ceramics – Knowledge comes from seeing too much”, The Culture Concept Circle.  

Cartwright, M (Feb 2019) “Ming Porcelain”.

Credit: Alison Lykissas, Cultural Collections Officer, Parramatta Heritage Centre, 2019

We want to hear from you. 

Can you tell a story about how the Ming Bowl came to be in Australia? Or how it came to be lost? 

You can submit your story as part of our Tiny Stories collection. Enter below! 

  • Instagram
  • Vimeo

Tiny Story Form


Thanks for submitting your Tiny Story. We'll be in touch!






bottom of page