Neolithic period (c.10000 - c.1500 BC) China
Storage jar c. 2500-2000 BCE Description: urn with two small loop handles, the rounded shoulders being painted in black and red cruciform motifs enclosed within concentric bands
Title Notes: Neolithic mortuary urn Mortuary urn
Place made: Ma Chang style, Gansu province, China
Creation Notes: Neolithic period, Ma Chang style
Materials & Technique: sculptures, earthenware, earthenware; painting
Dimensions: 33.0 h x 36.0 w x 36.0 d cm
Acknowledgement: Gift of Kenneth Myer 1973
Accession No: NGA 81.3074
  • In the Neolithic period, the Yangshao was one of the cultures that dominated the central plain of north China and also extended into present-day Gansu and Qinghai provinces. The types of pottery produced by this culture are named after the places at which characteristic examples were excavated, in this case the village of Machang. Large thin-walled, polished and painted Machang-type vessels like this one were probably not intended for everyday use. Found in tombs, they probably stored grave goods such as food and water.

    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2011
    From: Asian gallery extended display label