Archaeologists have discovered two important sites during an
excavation of an imperial kiln at Jingdezhen, a city renowned for
its porcelain since the Song Dynasty (960-1279) in south China's Jiangxi
The excavation of the imperial kiln lasting from the Ming
(1368-1644) to the Qing (1644-1911) dynasties covered an area of
788 square meters.
One of the sites contained relics from the Jiangxi porcelain
company in the late Qing Dynasty. Founded in 1902, the company was
the first modern enterprise cooperatively run by officials and
businessmen at Jingdezhen.
The second site unearthed was a kiln of the early Ming
"This is the largest group of kilns at an imperial site ever
discovered in China," said Li Yiping, deputy director of local
porcelain and archaeological institute. "It provides valuable
evidences for research on porcelain making skills at the imperial
kilns in the early Ming Dynasty."
A 10-cm tall red glazed cup with a 16-cm-wide mouth drew the
attention of many archaeologists.
"The seal 'made in yongle years', the reign of a Ming emperor,
in the center of the cup written in zhuanshu, a Chinese
calligraphy style, is the most distinct ever found in the world,"
"Even today's modern techniques cannot create such a vibrant red
glaze," Li added.
Imperial kilns were the imperial porcelain workshops of China's
royalty. Since the Yuan emperor Kublai Khan established a porcelain
bureau named Fuliang in 1278, Jingdezhen had been the location of
the imperial kilns of the Yuan (1271-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and
Qing (1644-1911) dynasties for 632 years until the end of the Qing
Dynasty in 1911.
Covering an area of 50,000 square meters, Jingdezhen boasts the
largest imperial porcelain workshops with the longest history and
the most exquisite workmanship in China.
So far over 3,000 porcelain treasures have been restored from
fragments unearthed from Jingdezhen.
(Xinhua News Agency January 29, 2004)