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Rare Glass Bottle Unearthed in East China

A small blue glass bottle unearthed from the foundation of a collapsed pagoda in east China suggests that China acquired glass-making technology 1,000 years ago.

Archaeologists said the gourd-shaped glass bottle with lead content was made by ancient Chinese with special technique, which was quite different from today's glass-making technology.

This kind of glass-making technology emerged in the Tang Dynasty (618 to 907). But only a small number of the glasswork has been found in China, due to the difficulty and complexity of the technique.

Archaeologists believe that the newly found glass bottle belonged to a king of the Wuyue Kingdom, which occupied, 1,000 years ago, areas comprising that are now today's southern Jiangsu and northern Zhejiang provinces. Members of the Wuyue Kingdom believed in Buddhism.

The glass bottle was discovered with an iron case on March 11, which was believed to contain Buddhist relics, from the foundation of Leifeng Pagoda near the scenic West Lake in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province.

The excavation has drawn wide attention in China, because of a Chinese legend about the Leifeng Pagoda. According to the legend, fairy Bainiangzi was covered under the Leifeng Pagoda for the sacrifice of love.

The over 1,000-year-old Leifeng Pagoda collapsed 77 years ago. Experts have debated for a long time whether to rebuild the pagoda.

Last year, a decision was made by the Hangzhou city government to rebuild it. The excavation of the foundation of the old pagoda is a part of the rebuilding project.

(Xinhua 03/19/2001)

In This Series

Precious Relics Uncovered in Pagoda Ruins

Buddha Hair Found in Case

Ancient Sculpture Evidence of Cultural Fusion

Underground Palace Discovered



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