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Pottery vessel- Ball-shaped tou (陶容器-豆、盆、缽形器)

In addition to high-bellied, round-bottomed jars and round-bellied, round-bottomed jars, other types of pottery vessels excavated from the Yuliao site included tou, basins and bowls. The largest differences between tou and bowls are that tou have a round bottom with round foot, while bowls have a round or flat bottom without round foot.

The basin shape is between that of round-bellied jar and bowl. Characteristics include wide mouth, narrow rim, round belly, and round bottom. Some specimens show open mouth, narrow rim, shallow belly and round bottom. In general, the size is similar to that of clay tempered round-bellied jars. However, basins have a much larger mouth with almost no constriction in the neck. Representative specimens and rim fragments were selected for substantive reconstruction.

The characteristics of bowls include large mouth and small bottom. There is no constriction at the neck. There are variations in the mouth, such as wide mouth, vertical mouth and contracted mouth. The bottom is round or slightly flat. Specimen YL0148 has four holes along the mouth. These were most likely used to attach a rope for carrying or hanging. However, this does not appear to be very common. Another specimen, YL0879, appears elliptical in shape when looking at it from above. Reconstruction was carried out on some specimens. Some of the rim fragments could be from tou. This was difficult to determine when no bottom was present.

The variations in the shape of tou are relatively complex. Wide-mouthed and constricted mouth tou are similar to bowls, except for the addition of a round foot. Ball-shaped tou are highly distinct, as they are shaped into an almost perfect sphere, except for an opening at the top. The size is similar to that of the round-bellied jar, but much larger than most bowls. Although there are no complete specimens, there is a complete ball-shaped vessel, as well as several ball-shaped vessel fragments and several complete round feet. From these specimens, ball-shaped tou possessed a very high round foot and a relatively large bottom, allowing the vessel to stand upright.


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