Jar with spirals
China, Gansu province
Unglazed earthenware, painted and burnished after firing
Museum no. C.286-1938
Large jars of this kind were used for storage and in burials. Examples have been found that contain food remains and children's bones.
The body was made from the fine, wind-blown soil called loess. The loess was formed into rolls of clay, which were coiled round and smoothed to build up the walls. This coiling technique was widespread before the invention of the potter's wheel.