China plans to submit three ancient porcelain kiln ruins as candidates for inclusion on UNESCO's world cultural heritage list.
The three kiln ruins, all located in central China's Henan Province, are the Ruyao kiln in Baofeng, the Junyao kiln in Yuzhou and a kiln in Gongyi.
"The three porcelain kiln ruins are well known, as they produced valuable porcelain items in ancient times and their works are very rare now," said Chang Jianchuan, director of the Henan Cultural Relics Bureau.
Ruyao kiln is known worldwide for its beautiful celadon.
Built in the early Song dynasty (AD 960 - 1279), Ruyao kiln made porcelain goods especially for the emperor and royal family. Only about 70 of the pieces made there survived the centuries of war in ancient China.
Archeologists have found in the kiln a considerable number of shards that are vital to research on the ancient porcelain industry.
Juyao porcelain kiln was also a supplier of the imperial household, built during the Northern Song dynasty (960 - 1127). It was noted for its special painting and glazing techniques. Only 36 items were made there every year, and people outside the royal family were banned from possessing them.
The kiln ruin in Gongyi was the first in China to produce the splendid tricolor Tang dynasty (AD 618 – 907) Sancai pottery
Archeologists also unearthed pieces of Tang dynasty Qinghua porcelain, a type featuring blue-and-white designs.
The discovery has settled a long-standing dispute about when Qinghua porcelains were first made, said Sun Xinmin, head of the Institute of Culture Relics and Archeology of Henan Province.
(Xinhua News Agency April 1, 2004)