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Yangshao Basin with Band and Linked Arc Design

Basin with Band and Linked Arc Design
Painted Pottery of the Yangshao Culture 仰韶文化彩陶

The Yangshao culture was the first Neolithic culture discovered by modern archaeologists. It was first identified in a dig at Yangshao village in Mianchi county in 1921 and thus was given the name of the village. It is the most familiar of the Neolithic cultures to Westerners because one of the most developed digs is the Banpo village near Xi'an. The Banpo village is a prime example of Yangshao neolithic culture but is not the only flavor. Yangshao sites can be found in Shaanxi, Shanxi, Henan, Hebei, and along the Yellow River into Gansu Province. The major variations are the Banpo, Shijia, Dahecun, Dasikong, Huogang, and Miaodigou.

Yangshao culture spans 2 thousand years from about 5000 BC to around 2800 BC. During that time pottery became more sophisticated, housing became larger, there was greater diversity in size and location of housing, and designs became more sophisticated. The linked arc design is a deliberate and controlled pattern. Earlier patterns were governed by the shape of the pot or the instrument used to make the pattern. On the next page you will see a pot of about the same late Yangshao vintage.

China Index >> Historical Beijing in Pictures >> Neolithic and Early Dynasty Pottery and Roof Tiles

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Last update: September 2013
© Marilyn Shea, 2013