Anthropomorphic Jar

Accession No. T0030006
Period Iron Age
Material Pottery
Findspot Zone B, Tomb No. 53 & 64, Shih-san-hang Shih-san-hang Site
Geographic Location Bali Dist., New Taipei City, Taiwan
Dimension Diam. of rim 11.2 cm; H. 22.9 cm


This anthropomorphic jar stands out from all of the unearthed artifacts from the Shih-san-hang site.Instead of utilitarian ware, it is a mortuary object accompanying a male burial. On the body of the jar a three-dimensional, realistic human face is depicted. The details of the face include bulging eyebrows decorated with punctate, narrow eyes, a slightly opened mouth, a delicate nose rising between the eyebrows, nose holes, an impressed circle in between the eyebrows, two ears with impressed circles beside the cheeks and a chin sticking out from the body. This item reveals excellent pottery-making technologies and the amazing creativity of the prehistoric Shih-san-hang people. Based on its artistic value and cultural importance, this jar was announced as one of our Significant Antiquities of the nation.