The Yangshao Culture was a Neolithic culture that grew along the Yellow River from the 6th millennium BC. Its artists reached their peak in the Majiayao period and produced these beautiful forms of pottery at an early period in human history. Since these artists had no knowledge of the potter’s wheel, this vase is entirely handmade. The pottery was formed by stacking coils of clay into the desired shape and smoothing the surfaces with paddles and scrapers.
The first ceramics produced in China around ten or eleven thousand years ago were wares designed primarily for use over display, and this early need for basic pottery has remained relevant. However, amongst Neolithic cultures, thin-walled, painted, and burnished earthenwares, some of intricate shapes, were being used as ritual vessels in various Neolithic cultures located along the Yellow and Yangtze River valleys, a possible explanation for the existence of more elaborate decorative designs.
To discover more about early artistic production in China, please visit our relevant blog post: The Art of Neolithic China.