Large Chinese Neolithic Machang Painted Pottery Jar (c. 2300 - 2000 BC)
This large 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 quite "heavily-potted" and made from a pale yellowish-brown pottery, the colour of which varies in places due to uneven conditions in the Neolithic kiln. It is a well-made jar of fine form and good proportions. At the waist of its wide body are two sturdy loop handles. At the top of its wide body is quite a narrow neck with a flared mouth.
The upper body and inner mouth have been decorated in a variation of a pattern often seen on larger Machang phase jars. Although it would appear the main pattern features hands, close examination shows on some of the "hands" there are six, even seven "fingers" ! Above each handle is a roundel containing geometric patterns.
Height 31 cm, diameter 29 cm. Although parts of the vulnerable mouth have been restored, overall condition is very good for such an ancient pottery object; a very nice example.
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