Prehistoric Painted Pottery of Xinjiang

Author(s): Enguo Lu

Year: 2015


Ever since the 1970s, painted pottery has been discovered in large quantities at cemeteries and occasionally settlements on the southern and northern foothills of the Tianshan Mountain. Organizing them into four Early Iron Age (ca. 1300-200BC) regional cultures: Yanbulake in the Hami region, Subeixi in the Turfan region, Chawuhu in the Kaidu Valley, and Yili Valley in the eponymous region, this paper characterizes the stylistic distinctions of the painted pottery of them. The Yanbulake culture, for instance, features the ware types of jars and bottles with double handles as well as the motifs of rhombi and triangles, whereas the Chawuhu culture features those of spouted jars and chessboard and thunder designs. Furthermore, this paper considers the possible origins of the painted pottery: while some motifs seem to derive from local textiles, some ware types are reminiscent of leather-made vessels. The painted pottery of Xinjiang, as a whole, manifests intimate connections with the Hexi Corridor. This paper sees no impact of the Harappa culture in Indian Subcontinent and Tripol’e in the Black Sea coast, but it acknowledges inspiration from the Namazga and Chust cultures of Central Asia.

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Cite this Record

Prehistoric Painted Pottery of Xinjiang. Enguo Lu. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395402)


Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;