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Li Liu


Chinese city in Shaanxi Province, where several important sites from the Neolithic to Eastern Zhou periods (c. 6500–256 bc) have been discovered. A Neolithic village site was excavated in 1958–60 and 1977–8 at Beishouling. The cultural deposits found belong to the Laoguantai culture and the Yangshao culture, dated by radiocarbon analysis to c. 5000–c. 2500 bc. The ceramics are reddish in colour, and some vessels are painted. Major pottery types include the pointed-bottom vase, flat-bottom jar, round-bottom bowl and suantou hu (garlic-head) vessel (for illustration of shapes see China, fig.). The most elaborate ones are a boat-shaped vessel with a net design and a garlic-shaped vessel with a design of a bird pecking at a fish.

At Rujiazhuang, Zhuyuangou and Zhifangtou, three cemeteries of the Western Zhou period (c. 1050–771 bc) were excavated in 1974–81. They belonged to the state of Yu, a Western Zhou feudal state not recorded in ancient texts. The excavations uncovered 27 tombs, two sacrificial pits containing chariots and horses, and four pits containing only horses. More than 2600 grave goods, including bronze, jade, stone, bone, shell and ceramic objects, were unearthed. The findings provide evidence of a culture combining a unique local style with influences from the Western Zhou, the Siwa culture in Gansu Province and the Shu culture in Sichuan Province. Many stone and jade ornaments and bronze vessels are decorated with animal motifs, and bronze figurines depict details of dress and hairstyles suggesting that the Yu people were culturally closely related to the Di and Qiang peoples in north-western and south-western areas....


Bonnie Abiko

Period in Japanese archaeological and cultural chronology (see Japan §I 2.). The term Jōmon means ‘cord-mark design’ and was first applied by Morse, Edward Sylvester in 1879 to a period in Japanese prehistory during which pottery with this distinctive type of surface patterning was produced. The Jōmon period extends over ten millennia from c. 10,000 to c. 300 bc and on the basis of ceramic typology (see Japan §IX 2., (i), (a)) has been divided into six phases: Incipient (c. 10,000–c. 7500 bc), Initial or Earliest (c. 7500–c. 5500 bc), Early (c. 5500–c. 3500 bc), Middle (c. 3500–c. 2500 bc), Late (c. 2500–c. 1000 bc) and Final or Latest (c. 1000–c. 300 bc). The characteristic cord-marked vessels noted by Morse date from Early Jōmon.

Japan’s long and distinctive ceramic tradition has its origins in the Jōmon period, and pottery from the Incipient phase, for example from ...