Tall Chinese Neolithic Siwa Culture Black Pottery Jar with Oxford TL Test (c. 1350 BC)
This rare pottery vessel was made over 3,000 years ago by peoples of the Siwa Culture (c.1350 BC) from present day Gansu or Qinghai province. It is finely constructed with high handles, a saddle-shaped mouth, quite a wide body and a small flat base. Pottery jars from the Siwa culture are rarer than those from the preceding Qijia and Majiayao cultures and most known examples are made from an orange or buff coloured pottery. Black pottery jars are rarer still ! In addition, this is an unusually large example of its type. The surface is finely burnished making this jar a real pleasure to handle as well as to look at. The varying surface shades are as a result of uneven temperatures during firing in the Neolithic kiln.
To the lower body on one side is an incised "X", clearly purposely done whilst the clay was still soft; its meaning is unknown.
Height 24 cm (9.5 inches). There are signs of surface repairs to the lower body and it is reasonably possible to assume that the more vulnerable areas such as the mouth may have some repair although none is immediately obvious. Overall a very nice example of good size.
As with many of our finer and rarer items, we have had this vessel tested by Oxford Authentications, the only testers of ancient pottery accepted by all major dealers, auction houses and museums worldwide, and the Thermoluminescence Analysis Report that will accompany this item is shown with our images; this confirms the date of manufacture as "between 2300 and 3600 years ago".
It is not easy to find published information about such jars, although an inferior (in our opinion) and much small example from the "Meiyintang Collection" is illustrated and described in the 2000 China Institute book "Dawn of the Yellow Earth" by Regina Krahl.
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