Jar of Banshan Culture
Unknown artist, Chinese; Yangshao, China; Gansu Province
Jar of Banshan Culture, ca. 2500-2000 BCE
Earthenware with polychrome decoration
31.1 x 41.3 cm (12 1/4 x 16 1/4 inches)
Gift of C. T. Loo 33.003
Although he probably purchased this jar of Banshan type while he lived in Lanzhou, in the Gansu Province of China, Swedish geologist Johan Gunnar Andersson (1874—1960) excavated pots of this type from one grave of an almost-empty Banshan cemetery in 1924. Andersson, who explored a number of archaeological sites in China from 1921 to 1926, documented how jars of this sort, which may have held offerings, were placed around a corpse. Skillfully formed by hand and beautifully painted with lozenge patterns typical of Banshan ceramics, this jar illustrates the early date of Chinese interest in ceramic manufacture.