Another reported find is from 17,000–18,000 years ago in the Yuchanyan Cave in southern China.
By the Middle and Late Neolithic (about 5000 to 1500 BCE) most of the larger archaeological cultures in China were settled farmers, who produced a variety of attractive and often large vessels, often boldly painted, or decorated by cutting or impressing.
Decoration is abstract or stylized animals - fish are a speciality at the river settlement of Banpo.
The Majiayao and other phases of the Yangshao culture are well-represented in Western museums; by the Banshan phase purple was used in slip-painting alongside black.
Chinese ceramics range from construction materials such as bricks and tiles, to hand-built pottery vessels fired in bonfires or kilns, to the sophisticated Chinese porcelain wares made for the imperial court and for export.
Porcelain is so identified with China that it is still called "china" in everyday English usage.
Stoneware, fired at higher temperatures, and naturally impervious to water, was developed very early and continued to be used for fine pottery in many areas at most periods; the tea bowls in Jian ware and Jizhou ware made during the Song dynasty are examples.
making it among the earliest pottery yet found (and so for the moment putting the Chinese ahead in a race with the Japanese in which national prestige is a factor).Finds of vessels are mostly in burials, and sometimes hold the remains.By 4100–2600 BCE in the Dawenkou culture shapes later familiar from Chinese ritual bronzes begin to appear.Chinese ceramics show a continuous development since pre-dynastic times and are one of the most significant forms of Chinese art and ceramics globally.The first pottery was made during the Palaeolithic era.