China and Sweden: Treasured Memories


Forth Section


New Development in Archeology
Johan Gunnar Andersson and the Yangshao Culture


Johan Gunnar Andersson was a geologist born in 1874 in Knista and died in 1960 in Stockholm, Sweden. Since childhood, Anderson was interested in studying fossils, and it was through collecting fossils that he found his happiness. In college, he studied geology and archeology diligently. His love for geology made him the director of Sweden's Geological Survey as well as an influential and renown scientist.

On May 16, 1914, Andersson came to China for the first time and worked as a mining advisor for the Department of Agriculture and Commerce. The Chinese government at that time desperately needed mines or natural resources, therefore was eager to have an expert to work with. The Iron Ore Resources of the World, which was compiled by Andersson and his successful presentation at the 11th International Geological Conference greatly impressed the Chinese government. Andersson brought new blood to the Chinese mining industry upon his arrival. Soon under his guidance, mines were found, which made the Chinese government ecstatic. It was also around that time that Anderson had a new interest in paleontology after his excavation in the western Henan Province. The excavation led to the discovery of some dinosaur bones, which made him realize that China was filled with hidden ancient fossils and artifacts.

In 1920, Anderson switched his studies of paleontology and geology to archeology. In 1921, the discovery of Yangshao culture marked his position in Chinese archeology. Andersson used his geology, precisely by observing stratigraphic patterns and scanning the landscape to discover the remains of Yangshao culture, which opened the door to studying archeology with technology in China. It was like a revolutionary change. Previously, Chinese archeological findings were based on literature and ancient documents, which did not help to solve many questions, specifically those related to prehistoric culture. These excavations could not be done without technologies and geological/stratigraphy understandings. Anderson was the first to implement his geology understanding and practices, as well as certain archeological methods to discover Yanshou culture.

China became the second home for Johan Gunnar Andersson where he wished to work long-term. He went to many places besides Mianchi, Henan Province to do archaeological research such as Gansu and Qinghai provinces, doing archeological research in the Northwest China. The Chinese government at that time agreed that Andersson took the collections back to Stockholm, doing cataloguing. Today, these findings are collected at the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities. In 1925, Andersson left China and never came back working again. However, he was always concerned of the development of China's archeology and trained many young archaeologists for China. In 1926, he organized the visit of Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf to China.

Today we want to not only acknowledge this great scientist, but to appreciate his love for Chinese people and Chinese culture. He opened a new page in China's archeological studies and will always be remembered.

Ji Wei

169. Painted Pottery Jar with Leaf Pattern
Collection of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities

Neolithic, painted pottery jar with straight neck of medium height and two handles (one broken) placed low. Red polished Ware. Painted in black and brownish violet. Width 30 cm, height 28.5 cm. Banshan tradition. Bought in Lanzhou, Gansu.

170. Painted Pottery Jar with Two Ears
Collection of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities

Neolithic, painted pottery jar with low, flaring neck, wide mouth and two handles placed from rim to body. Red ware with polished surface. Painted in black and reddish violet. Width 15 cm, height 12.5 cm. Machang tradition with Banshan traits. Provenance Yüzhong xian. Bought in Gansu.

171. Red Pottery Vessel with Pointed Bottom
Collection of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities

Neolithic, monochrome, slender vessel w/pointed bottom and two handles placed low, close to bottom. Red Ware. Cord impressions over the body. Reconstructed. Width 30.5 cm, length 89 cm. Yangshao tradition. Exploration find by Bai Wanyu in Jinwangzhai, Heyin xian. Henan Province.

172. Painted Pottery Jar with Whirl Pattern
Collection of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities

Neolithic painted pottery jar with neck of medium height and two handles. Two rudimentary, pierced, ears below rim. Red Ware, polished surface. Painted in black and red. Width 41 cm, height 37 cm. Banshan tradition. Provenance Ningding xian, Wangjiagou. Bought in Gansu.

173. Painted Pottery Jar with Geometric Pattern
Collection of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities

Neolithic, painted pottery jar w/low neck and two handles. Flared rim. Red Ware, slightly polished surface. Painted in black and bluish violet. Width 45 cm, height 35 cm. Banshan tradition. Bought in Lanzhou, Gansu.

174. Painted Pottery Jar with Asymmetrical Ears
Collection of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities

Neolithic, painted pottery jar w/low, flaring neck, wide mouth and two asymmetrically placed handles. Red Ware, polished surface. Painted in black and reddish violet. Width 26.5 cm, height 20 cm. Banshan tradition. Bought in Lanzhou, Gansu.

175. Painted Pottery Jar with Geometric Patterns
Collection of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities

Neolithic painted pottery jar w/high neck and two handles. Two slightly different ears, w/dentate edges and only an indication of a hole, below rim. Red Ware, slightly polished surface. Painted in black and bluish violet. Width 40 cm, height 36.5 cm. Banshan tradition. Bought in Lanzhou, Gansu.

176. Single Eared Painted Pottery Jar with Whirl Pattern
Collection of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities

Neolithic, painted, pottery jar w/high, straight neck and one handle placed where neck and body meet. Red Ware. Painted in black and red. Width 22 cm, height 22 cm. Banshan tradition. Provenance Nianbo xian, Milagou, Heitouzhuang. Bought in Gansu.

177. Single Eared Painted Pottery Jar With Triangle Pattern
Collection of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities

Neolithic, painted, pottery jar with straight, high neck and one handle placed from neck to body. Red Ware with red slip. Painted in black. Width 11 cm, height 12 cm. Banshan tradition? Settlement site material. Bought in Jin xian, Gansu.

178.Painted Pottery Jar with Waving Pattern
Collection of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities

Neolithic, painted, pottery jar w/wide mouth and two handles placed from rim to body. Red, unpolished ware. Painted in dull, dark, brown. Width 11.5 cm, height 8 cm. Machang tradition. Bought in Lanzhou, Gansu.

179. Single Eared Painted Pottery Jar with Sunflower Pattern
Collection of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities

Neolithic, painted pottery jar w/low, flaring neck, wide mouth and one handle placed from rim to body. Red Ware, highly polished surface. Probably varnished in more recent period. Painted in black and dull violet. Width 17.5 cm, height 16 cm. Machang tradition. Bought in Lanzhou, Gansu.

180.Painted Pottery Jar with Whirl Pattern
Collection of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities

Neolithic, painted pottery jar w/low neck and two handles. Red Ware. Painted in black and red. Width 36 cm, height 35 cm. Banshan tradition. Bought in Lanzhou.

181. Painted Pottery Jar with Two Handles
Collection of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities

Neolithic, painted pottery jar w/low, flaring neck and two handles. Red Ware, slightly polished. Painted in black and red. Width 39.5 cm, height 30 cm. Banshan tradition. Provenance Ningding xian, Waguanzui. Bought in Gansu.




 

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