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Banpo museum: a collection of prehistoric culture

By Li Hongrui (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2016-04-02 14:42 Comments

Banpo museum: a collection of prehistoric culture

A basin with a human face and fish pattern.[Photo by Li Hongrui/chinadaily.com.cn]

Basins with the pattern of human faces and fish

The basin was used by Banpo ancestors to cover the jar that they used as a “coffin” for their dead children. Each basin has many holes on it. Banpo people believed that the soul of dead child could come out from that small holes and go on living with the alive. The patterns with two human faces and two fish were symmetrically painted on the inside of the basins. The human faces were painted in a style that placed two large fish in their mouths and two little ones in their ears.

The meaning of the mysterious pattern has intrigued visitors since 1955 when the basins were discovered. There are more than 20 hypothetical explanations about the pattern, yet none is confirmed. Some even connect the pattern with the extraterrestrials.

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