Large Chinese Neolithic Machang Phase Painted Pottery Jar (c. 2300 - 2000 BC)
This tall 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. It is made from a relatively highly-fired pale yellowish-brown pottery, the surface colour of which varies in places due to uneven conditions during firing in the Neolithic kiln. The jar has a fairly small flat base, wide body with two sturdy loop handles on opposing sides, a short neck and flared mouth. The upper body, and inner mouth, has been decorated in bold geometric patterns in a dark fired-on mineral-based pigment. In places on the surface are the marks left by "calcified" growths during its long burial.
Interestingly one handle shows woven impressions suggesting this jar was rested on its side on a mat during its construction whilst the clay was still soft.
Height 34.5 cm (13.5 inches), diameter 30 cm (12 inches). There is an area of repair to the vulnerable mouth, but overall this large jar is in exceptional condition.
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