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Largest Painted Pottery Museum Opens in Qinghai Province

China's largest painted pottery museum with a collection of 37,925 antique pieces opened Wednesday in the northwestern Qinghai Province.

The Liuwan Museum of Ancient Painted Pottery is located in Ledu county and was named for its location on the ruins of the Liuwan tombs, where archeologists have unearthed more than 30,000 items of cultural heritage -- including over 20,000 pieces of painted pottery -- since the 1970s.

The museum opened to the public its first antique show on Wednesday, featuring 540 pieces of painted pottery dating back some 3,000 to 4,500 years.

The Liuwan tombs, a large burial ground for members of a primitive clan, offers valuable materials representing four typical cultures in ancient China for archeologists to study ancient social structure.

Archeologists say sacrificial objects unearthed from the graves over the years -- often stone axes, knives and chisels with males and pottery or stone spinning wheels, bone awls and needles with females -- show that male members of the clan were mainly involved in social production whereas females were engaged solely in housework.
(Xinhua News Agency April 29, 2004)

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