Banshang (Pan Shan) Burial Jar, earthenware with painted and burnished decor

Funerary Storage Jar, c. 2300 BCE

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The most distinctive product of the Ma Jia Yao culture (3,800-2,000 b.c.) was a type of painted pottery of extraordinary refinement which has become associated with the Neolithic grave sites at Panshan in Gansu province. This jar, like others shown here, was fashioned without the use of a potter's wheel by coiling rolls of clay into the desired shape, after which it was smoothed, burnished, painted and fired at a temperature around 1000 degrees F. Because most Ma Jia Yao pottery was a less refined, more utilitarian ware, and since elaborate jars such as this were usually buried with the deceased, it is probably that they held food for the afterlife and the designs may have held religious significance for the ancient Chinese.

Details
Title
Funerary Storage Jar
Role
Artist
Accession Number
89.49
Curator Approved

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Banshang (Pan Shan) Burial Jar, earthenware with painted and burnished decor