Twin handled jar Machang Phase

This is a jar from the Majiayao culture, or also known as Gansu Yangshao culture. It dates between 2300-2000 BC the Machang Phase, and is from Gansu or Qinghai province.

The pot is 10,5 cm high and 13,5 cm across. It is very thin bodied, and decorated with mineral based paint, prior to firing.

These pots were hand formed, not on a turning wheel. You can see scrape markings on the outside, from shaping and thinnig the clay.

The inside of the rim is also decorated,in the typical black and purple color.

While being shaped these pots rested on a piece of fabric, which leaves an imprint on the bottom. The undersides are also undecorated, because they rested on the floor, and paint would get dirty or wear off. An other theory is that these pots were grave-gifts, and could only be seen from the top. So there was no need to decorate the bottom.

They are surprisingly high fired, and almost feel porcelain like. There are many different decorations, applied in a primitive way, there was no modern brush yet.

The Yangshao culture is a Neolithic culture to be dated between 5000-3000 BC.  The Machang phase comes after that time-period but is seen as a late stage of that culture. The Yangshao culture is named after Yangshao, the first excavated city of this culture, found in 1921 by the Swedish archeologist Andersson. De Yangshao people had agriculture, domesticated animals, and hunted for their food. It is a stone-age culture, and the people lived in round huts, stricken with mud.

A similar pot is in the Victoria and albert Museum collection number; CIRC.193-1929


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