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14 March 2004
3,000-year-old painted pot unearthed in China

An ancient earthen pot with an ostrich design painted on the body, the first of its kind ever discovered in China, has been unearthed in Linyao City, western China's Gansu Province. The 28-cm-tall pot, discovered by local peasants, has a pair of asymmetrical handles at the neck and the body respectively. On the lower part of the pot are 10 ostriches of different forms and poses. Some are jumping and some are running, some have two feet while some have only one.
     Wang Haidong, deputy director of Gansu painted pottery researchassociation, said the painted earthen pot dated back more than 3,000 years, belonging to the Majiayao culture type (about 3,300 BCE to 2,050 BCE). "Designs on ancient vessels often reflect the lives and environments of their makers, so it is possible that ostriches mayhave lived in Gansu region about 3,000 years ago. It is an important clue for research on the ecological environment at that time," Wang said.

Source: People's Daily (10 March 2004)

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