Buddhism spread to the Korean Peninsula from China and India between the fourth and sixth centuries, gaining widespread popularity there during the Unified Silla period (668–918), the era when this covered stoneware cinerary urn was made. Following the Buddhist practice of cremation, the ashes of a deceased monk or devout layperson were placed in vessels of this type. While the use of high-fired stoneware, incised and impressed geometric surface patterns, and natural ash glaze deposits originated in the preceding Silla Kingdom period (313—668) (see Smart Museum object number 1999.13), this urn’s elegant, curvilinear shape is inspired by contemporary Buddhist ceramic ware from Tang China. The abstract decoration enlivening the lid and body of the vessel likely evokes the dazzling gardens of the Western Paradise of the Buddha Amitabha (called Amita in Korea). For example, the lid’s knob takes the form of a closed lotus flower, and the incised and impressed designs of lines, dots, and circles that cover both the vessel body and its lid, suggest stylized plant shapes.