© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2006.170.1
Title
Amphora with pointed base
Other Titles
Original Language Title: 仰韶文化 半坡類型 陶 尖底雙耳瓶
Classification
Vessels
Work Type
vessel
Date
Banpo phase, c. 5000-4000 BCE
Places
Creation Place: East Asia, China, Shaanxi province
Creation Place: East Asia, China, Shaanxi province, Xi‘an
Period
Neolithic period, Yangshao culture, c. 5000-3000 BCE
Culture
Chinese
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Earthenware with impressed decoration
Dimensions
H. 37 x W. (across handles) 24 cm (14 9/16 x 9 7/16 in.)
Provenance
[J.J. Lally & Co., New York, September 1998] sold; to Walter C. Sedgwick Foundation, Woodside, CA (1998-2006), partial gift; to Harvard University Art Museums, 2006.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Partial gift of the Walter C. Sedgwick Foundation and partial purchase through the Ernest B. and Helen Pratt Dane Fund for the Acquisition of Oriental Art
Accession Year
2006
Object Number
2006.170.1
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
Inverted tear-drop-shaped vessel; rounded shoulders; body tapering to a pointed base; short neck with cupped mouth; two loop handles positioned bilaterally just below shoulders; red earthenware body, the upper half cord-marked (i.e., textured with impressions created by a cord-wrapped implement tapped against the moist clay before firing); interior and exterior encrusted with earth from burial. Yangshao culture, Banpo type.

Vessels of this form—with small mouths, pointed bases, and bilateral loop handles—were used to collect and carry water and were produced in abundance during the late Neolithic period in the middle Yellow River valley region.

Note:
A sample taken from the base of this vessel was thermoluminescence (TL) tested at Oxford Authentication Ltd. in September 1998 and determined to be consistent with the suggested period of manufacture.
Commentary
Related Examples:
(1) Small amphora with similar rounded shoulders excavated in 1975 at Jiangzhai, Lintong county, Shaanxi province, now in the Shaanxi History Museum. See Zhongguo taoci quanji [The Complete Works of Chinese Ceramics], vol. 1: Xinshiqi shidai [Neolithic period] (Shanghai: Shanghai renmin meishu chubanshe, 2000), no. 17, p. 66 and p. 252.
(2) Amphora with similar cupped mouth and textured surface excavated in 1972 at Jiangzhai, Lintong county, Shaanxi province, now in the National History Museum, Beijing. See ibid., no. 16, p. 65 and p. 252; and Kaogu 3 (1973): pl. 2 and p. 144, fig. 17.2.
(3) Small amphora excavated from Banpocun, Xi’an, Shaanxi province, now in the British Museum. See Sheila Vainker, Chinese Pottery and Porcelain (London: British Museum, 1991), pl. 1 (left), p. 13.
Exhibition History

Prehistoric Pottery from Northwest China, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/21/2016 - 08/14/2016

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu