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Porcelain Drums Show Ancient Exchanges Between East China and West Asia

Chinese archaeologists said pieces of newly unearthed porcelain waist drums in east China's Jiangxi Province indicate there were close links between the province and both central and western Asian countries more than 1,200 years ago.


The drums were found at a site of celadon potteries of the Tang Dynasty ( 618 AD -907 AD) in Yugan County. The site also proved for the first time that Jiangxi's celadon history dates back to the Tang Dynasty, according to archaeologists.


The remains of the porcelain waist drums, also unearthed in the province for the first time, were delicate in quality and were made with advanced skills, said Yu Jiadong, a researcher with the Jiangxi Provincial Cultural Relics and Archaeology Institute.


The unearthed drums, which are shaped like a dumbbell, are up to 40 centimeters in length, and the diameter of their drumheads can reach 20 centimeters, according to Yu.


This kind of waist drum was originally a percussion instrument popular among people in central and western Asian countries, Yu said.


The porcelain waist drums were export-oriented products in ancient China which suggests there were close economic and cultural exchanges between Jiangxi and central and western Asia, said Yu.


At the site, more than 3,000 pieces of porcelain products and production tools were also unearthed, which experts said confirmed that Jiangxi was also a major base of celadon production.


(Xinhua News Agency July 3, 2006)


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