The Neolithic culture of China was based primarily on agriculture. Farmers grew millet and sorghum, while domesticated animals included pigs, goats, and dogs. Beautiful painted pots survive from this time in all shapes and sizes. The vessels were hand made, using the coiling method, smoothed and shaped with paddles, painted, and low-fired in open pits. The jars are remarkably thin-walled with high shoulders and elaborate decorations. Black and red-checkered patterns with S-shaped curves and spirals, along with whorls and wavy lines were clearly painted with a simple palette and some sort of early brush.
These jars are found in both burial and domestic excavations. There seems to have been no difference made in offerings to the dead and food preparation or storage for the living.