While the most prized and expensive examples of ancient South-East Asian art were made of stone and bronze, they were other materials used in the manufacture of statuary. Another material that was sometimes used was terracotta, and the Dvaravati civilization of Thailand excelled in the production of terracotta art objects. It is thought that they were often used to decorate the outer walls of temples and stupas in Dvaravati cities. These kinds of finds are numerous at Dvaravati archaeological sites and can be seen in the provincial museums of the former Dvaravati cultural zone. The museums of Bangkok, Nakhon Sawan, Ratchaburi and Nakhon Pathom all have fine examples.
The example below is typical of Mon-Dvaravati terracotta art. It shows a Mon-style Buddha head, covered with large curls. It has a broad nose and full lips, features that are often found in Mon Buddhas. There is a small hole in the centre of the forehead, which would once have been fitted with a precious jewel. Obviously, it has been removed by a treasure-hunter at some point. Unlike the more celebrated Mon bronzes, Mon terracottas can sell in the low hundreds of dollars. The influence of statues like this on the art of the great Thai kingdoms is very easy to spot, even for the newcomer.