Analytical examination of Chinese Liangzhu neolithic ceramics

Eugene F. Farrell and Andrzej Dajnowski


This paper is an attempt to understand the technique of manufacture of neolithic Chinese ceramics from the Liangzhu culture (3rd-4th millennium B.C.). During this period various types of wares were in use. Jars and plates were common as well as circular pedestal stands, and perforated pots of unknown usage. The earthenware pots are gray, buff or black In color.

The most Intriguing are those objects that have a black core and two gray layers, one exterior and the other interior, with both surfaces covered with a thin black coating.

The origin of the black and gray layering and the methods of manufacture are questions that we are trying to answer using modern analytical techniques. This paper will discuss the results of thermoluminescence analyses, quantitative electron beam microprobe analysis, x-radiography, binocular microscopy low magnification examination of structures, polarizing microscopy of thin sections and Auger analyses of the black surface coatings and decorations. These analyses will lead towards an understanding of the chemistry, phase relations, methods of manufacture and firing conditions of this early Interesting group of ceramics.

1989 | Cincinnati