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Banpo red clay amphora Banpo Neolithic Culture 半坡文化

Banpo Neolithic Culture

This pointed bottle, or amphora, was excavated at the Banpo site. It was not given a date by the museum. It illustrates the smooth red clay examples of pottery found at the site. The bottle could be suspended from either animal hide strings or poles and tipped for easy pouring. When getting water from a stream or pool, the amphora could be lain on top of te water for filling. A large bottomed vessel would require submersion or manual turning by someone in the water.

Below, the photograph is of the Banpo amphora in the British Museum Collection. The museum estimates that the amphora dates to 4500 BC. The amphora measures 12.48 inches (31.7 centimeters) tall. The museum suggests that the design on the bottle was made by pressing rope into the clay before firing.

Banpo amphora in the British Museum Collection
Photograph from the British Museum Collection, item number Asia OA 1959.2-16.4

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Last update: March 2010
© Marilyn Shea, 2010