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0029 Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1
Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1 / Page 29 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000195
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MENGHIN has afterwards (1931, p. 561) characterized the carriers of the Huang-ho cultures as "Schweinezüchtern" and not as agriculturists. But everything goes to prove that the Yang-shao people carried on agriculture side by side with pig breeding, and we know that they even cultivated rice.

Through ANDERSSON'S discoveries North China has been included in the vast Euro-Asiatic chalcolithic cultural complex characterized by painted pottery and the first appearance of copper.

Nowhere did the art of vase painting reach such a perfection in chalcolithic time as in the Chinese province of Kansu. The ability to work metals seems to have reached China at a somewhat later stage.

As time has passed a lot of new material has been added from many places, above all Iran, Baluchistan, India, and apparently also from Russian Turkistan. In the East several new sites have been explored inside the already known domain of the N. China polychrome pottery, and also outside this region a few specimens of painted wares have come to light, inter alia in Jehol and Inner Mongolia. The addition in comparative material has, however, hardly simplified the question of the connection between East and West in aeneolithic time, rather the opposite.

So many speculations and far-reaching theories have been advanced connecting the spread from West to East of the painted pottery with the migrations of certain peoples from SE Europe to NW China, that it is time to come down to earth again and confess that we cannot know anything about such things. As a matter of fact we know very little about the very material on which such hypotheses ought to be founded, as only a part of the Chinese pottery has been made available through publications.

Now the vase painting is a rather complicated phenomenon. It presupposes a highly developed ceramic art with skilled workmen well acquainted with the fabrication of hard-burnt wares ; furthermore knowledge of the production of certain colours, and familiarity with the brush. All these circumstances taken together constitute such a complex phenomenon that it is very unlikely that the art of vase painting has evolved in different centra in chalcolithic time.

If we accept the theory of the art of vase painting as an importation, both the distribution and the nature of the earlier painted wares in China make it clear that the way of entrance has been from the north-west, i. e. across Central Asia.' Under such conditions the spread of the knowledge of vase painting must have passed through certain parts of the present province of Sinkiang. The geographical position of this province predestinates it to be an intermediary link between West and East, even though the Pamirs seem to block the southern part from any sort of intercourse with the countries west thereof. Especially north

1 The view set forth by JANSE that the art of vase painting arrived in N. China from India via Indo-China or Yunnan is less probable. Nothing in the geographical distribution of the painted wares points to the south or south-west. (Jame 1935).