Friday, 6 December 2013

Neolithic (BC 8000-2100)

Compiled from Collecting Chinese Antiquities in Hong Kong
        During the Neolithic period, human groups in China established permanent, agricultural villages and began making pottery. By the end of the Neolithic period, some groups were living in highly stratified societies ruled by powerful leaders. The Neolithic period ended with the introduction of Bronze vessels for use in rituals around 200 BC. The areas covered by what is now modern China was made up of distinct regions each of with its own separate identity. Based on the similarities in such things as pottery, houses and style of burials, archaeologists have identified many different cultures.
        Many Neolithic cultures flourished during the years 5000-3000 BC. The YangShao culture of the central plains of Shannxi, Henan was well-known for painted pottery. They were often decorated in black paint with complex designs. After the YangShao Culture came, the LongShan culture flourished in the lower Huang He. They produced extremely delicate eggshell-thin pottery.
        The Majiayao, Banshan and Machang cultures developed in the upper Huang He and produced various types of pottery. In the Dawenkou culture of Shandong and North Jiangsu, pottery was more sophisticated. Vessels more frequently had appendages such as spouts legs and ring bases. Their tombs were usually made of elaborately constructed chambers filled with objects of jade, ivory, turquoise and black/white ware.
        The Hong Shan culture in Liaoning, Northern Hebei produced painted pottery and large amounts of jade carving. In the lower region of River Changjiang, the Liangzhu culture also produced jade carving. This culture is well-known for its great variety of jade carving as well as superb carving techniques. The most important of these jade carvings are the ceremonial disks (bi), broad-bladed axes (yue) and ritual tubes (cong).

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