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4 March 2006
5,000-year old earthenware unearthed in NW China

A large earthen jar painted in black and brownish red, which is confirmed by experts to be 5,000 years old, was unearthed recently in Lintao County of northwest China's Gansu Province. The discovery is rare because of its bird-shape and numerous openings indicate that it belonged to the Majiayao culture, a historical period from about 3300 BCE to 2050 BCE. Usually these types of jars were made with only one opening on the top, said Wang Haidong, president of the Gansu Provincial Majiayao Culture Society.
     The jar is 32 cm high and 40 cm in diameter. There are two openings which are 8 cm and 3 cm in diameter respectively at the top of the jar, according to local archaeologist. There is also a large opening located on the side of the jar and small one in the middle on the jar's, they said. The experts said the painted jar unearthed in Lintao belongs to late period of the Majiayao culture. Designs on ancient vessels often reflect the lives and environment of their makers, so the jar will help historians who study the culture.

Source: People's Daily Online (1 march 2006)

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