Painted pottery may offer clues to prehistoric cultures

Neolithic and bronze-age pottery painted with a variety of primitive and creative patterns are visually arresting objects to visitors at an artifact exhibition.

But where did these mystic patterns come from, what did they mean, and why have they vanished?

People may find answers to these questions at Heavenly Beauty, Emerging Rays, an exhibition on now at the National Museum of China through Jan 3.

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A display of nearly 200 objects reveals the emergence of pottery-making in Gansu province some 8,000 years ago, and celebrates the advanced civilizations that produced the pottery and thrived along the Yellow River.

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