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