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New discovery at ancient Chinese kiln ruins site

Chinese archaeologists said they have discovered a new type of Chinese porcelain at a site in central China's Henan Province.

New discovery at ancient Chinese kiln ruins site
Instruments unearthed at the site [Credit: Xinhua]
More than 1.2 million pieces have been unearthed at the excavation site of a 1,000-year-old Ruyao porcelain works in Baofeng County since 2012, said Zhao Hong from the Henan provincial institute of cultural relics and archaeology.

Archaeologists have unearthed furnaces, workshops and instruments, Zhao said on Thursday, adding that around 287 pieces can be restored.

Some of the pieces are especially rare, such as a rectangular tray, and many of the items boast beautiful designs and complicated carvings.

It is unlikely that these items were used by the hoi polloi, as they are much more the standard of tools for sacrifice purposes, said Zhao.

The furnaces are similar in structure to other Ruyao kiln furnaces but appear to have had lower sintering temperatures, according to the expert.

These findings will greatly assist research into the Ruyao kiln techniques.

Henan Province, referred to as the cradle of the Chinese civilization, was once a production center for chinaware. It boasts three famous kiln sites -- the Ruyao kiln in Baofeng, the Junyao kiln in Yuzhou city and the Huangye kiln, which produced the Tang tri-color pottery in Gongyi city.

Chinese scholars believe that the Ruyao kiln, the largest celadon producer of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), was in Qingliangsi in Baofeng County.

In 2000, archaeologists found what they believed to be the central processing section of the works, subsequent digs have revealed 15 furnaces, two workshops, various instruments, glazing materials and fragments of Ruyao porcelain.

Source: Xinhua [November 27, 2014]

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