World Ceramic: What does it look like?

This Middle Jomon vessel is a large, heavy, flat-bottomed earthenware jar topped with a fanciful rim. It represents a striking change in pottery forms. Earlier UTILITARIAN clay pots were kneaded and punched into simple shapes with pointed bases that held them upright when they were pushed into the ground.

The cylindrical body flares outward to the hand-shaped pierced and looped projections around the rim. The lower portion is lightly textured with diagonal low-relief pressed-cord patterns that serve as a backdrop to INCISED ORGANIC (plantlike) and curving forms, including a large, central spiral. What these elaborate patterns represent remains a mystery. The ornamental scalloped rim dominates both the decoration and the form. This type of energetic sculptural design appears only on urns or jars. The loops of the rim could serve as handles, but this pot would be awkward to carry very far when filled.

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Where does it come from?
What does it look like?
How was it used?
How was it made?
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