VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Jar
KM 35343
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

This vessel is one of the earliest known testimonies to the peasant culture that existed during the Chinese Stone Age. It is an object from the very first excavations by Chinese archaeology, undertaken in collaboration with a western country, Sweden. The pot is evidence of the advanced culture that flourished in the area before China was united under one emperor. The Chinese Neolithic shows extraordinary skill and artistry in its ceramic production. The vessels were built up by hand. The decoration consists of geometrical patterns, painted with a sure hand on the unglazed earthenware. Some pots from the Yangshao culture and its successors show similarities in form to bronze vessels from the Shang Dynasty .

History of the Object
The Stone Age cultures in central and north-west China that began 5000 years before the common era (BCE) developed high-quality ceramics. Swedish-Chinese expeditions and excavations laid the foundation for indigenous Chinese archaeology. This is a part of a Swedish story that begins with Johan Gunnar Andersson’s geological investigations and archaeological excavations in central and north-western China, in the village of Yangshao in the province of Henan in central China in 1921 and in Gansu and Qinghai in 1923 and 1924. The grave goods and skeletons were brought to Sweden for scientific analysis. The finds that were excavated are mostly preserved in Sweden today. Half of the material was sent back to China, according to an agreement with the Chinese state. It is no longer to be found in China. The jar has been published in Bo Gyllensvärd, Kinesiskt porslin och dess förhistoria It is now shown in the exhibition China – in the middle of the World at Kulturen in Lund. Literature: Fiskesjö, Magnus and Chen Xingcan. China before China. Johan Gunnar Andersson, Deng Wenjiang and the discovery of China´s Prehistory, 2004 Myrdal, Eva. China before China, 2004 Kulturens årsbok 2008, (Yearbook of the museum Kulturen in Lund), 2008

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Type
Ceramics 
Materials
Earthenware 
Measurements
Height 12 cm  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China; Central Gansu province; Banshan 
Geography
China 
Time period
BCE 28th century ~ BCE 25th century 
Creation date
BCE; 28th Century - 25th Century; c. 2700-2400 BCE 
Function
Grave gift 
Acquisition
In 1927 a letter came to Georg Karlin, director and founder of Kulturen, from the geologist and archaeologist Johan Gunnar Andersson. He asked Karlin for his help in “a matter that is of the utmost importance for the East Asian collections”. A considerable amount of pottery from the excavation in Henan and Gansu had to be pieced together and restored. Andersson was able to borrow the services of the conservator at Kulturen, Arvid Gräns, for six months. As a result of Karlin’s stubborn negotiations, several intact examples of this very early pottery were acquired by Kulturen as compensation for the loan of the conservator. 
Copyright
Kulturen in Lund (photo Viveca Ohlsson) 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Kulturen in Lund 
Museum
The Museum of Cultural History, Lund 
Credit line
 

Other
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OF THIS MUSEUM

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    China
    AD 18th century ~ AD 18th century
  • Plate
    China
    AD 17th century ~ AD 17th century
  • Bowl
    China
    AD 10th century ~ AD 13th century
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