The culture went through an evolution of painted pottery designs that lasted more than a thousand years. During the Ma-chia-yao phase (3100-2700 b.c.), when this spectacular storage jar was created, painted decoration had become independent. Designs have a distinctive linear quality with black parallel lines encircling the vessel with fluid and rhythmic movements creating striking graphic effects. The additional use of a white pigment, here effectively used to highlight the design, is somewhat rare. The vessel comes from Kansu or Ch'ing-hai province in the upper Huang Ro (Yellow River) basin; probably the most prolific pottery producing area between 4000 and 2000 b.c. The Ma-chia-yao region would later produce two other distinct types of painted pottery; Pan-shan (2600-2300 b.c.) and Ma-chang (1200-2000 b.c.), classic examples of which are displayed below and to the left.