Chinese Neolithic Painted Pottery Jar - Machang (c. 2300 - 2000 BC)
This twin-handled pottery jar was made over 4,000 years ago during the Machang Phase (c. 2300 - 2000 BC) of the Majiayao culture, also known as the Gansu-Yangshao culture, from present day Gansu or Qinghai province. This example is "finer" than many other known similar examples, being more thinly potted and with a smooth burnished surface. The outer surface and inner mouth have been finely decorated with various geometric patterns in black and purple fired-on mineral-based pigments. Interestingly there are woven impressions to the base suggesting this jar was placed upon a mat whilst the clay was soft during manufacture.
Diameter 13 cm (5 inches). Although there is no sign of restoration or repair, there are two cracks that surround part of the base, although from their nature they appear to be firing cracks and they do not penetrate the body. To one side of the wall, however, is a crack that does penetrate the body; whether or not this is a firing crack we do not know, but it does appear to be perfectly stable.
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