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Painted pottery with a white background
仰韶文化後期大河村彩陶罐

Later Yangshao Culture, Dahe Village, ca. 2500 BCE
18 cm high

Description: This unusually painted jar is from the later phase of Yangshao Culture, most likely Miaodigou or even Dahecun period following it in Henan Province. The pottery has a broad shoulder, narrow rim and bottom without any handles attached. The painting on the body is well divided into several layers of bands, each is filled with different patterns and colours, such as arcs, triangles, dots, groups of vertical lines, zigzags pointing towards the bottom. The villages were situated alongside the Yellow River and people were dependent on fishing for life. The origin of such abstract geometric patterns might be the fish and human faces from the early Yaoshao pottery. Triangles and arcs are derived from the outline of the fish, the dots from the fish eyes. The object is painted in orange and black onto a white clay background, which is distinctive from other Neolithic pottery arts.

Provenance: Old British collection

Reference: For a similar object, Zhengzhou Museum, Henan Province.