Skip to comments.Important discoveries in Jingdezhen (Chinese archaeology)
Posted on 01/28/2004 8:06:02 PM PST by maui_hawaii
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 Province.
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 Dynasty.
"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 16cm-wide mouth drew the attention of many archaeologists.
"The seal 'Made in Yongle years', the reign of a Ming emperor, at the center of the cup written in zhuanshu, a Chinese calligraphy style, is the most distinct ever found in the world," said Li.
"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) dynasty 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.
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On the banks of the Kanas Lake, there live 2,000 Tuwas, a Mongolian tribe that have existed in this remote area of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region for generations. They mainly inhabit the areas of Kanas, Hemu and Baihaba. Their primitive nomadic lifestyle seems to have been isolated from the modern civilization of the 21st century.
They believe in Shamanism and Lamaism and keep the primitive worship of fire and other natural forces as their ancestors did. They offer sacrifices to mountains, waters, Heaven, fire and Aobao (a kind of stone piles).
Tuwa people live a nomad life, residing in yurts or log houses roofed with straws. Due to the geographic conditions and natural environment, the Tuwas' habits and customs are similar to that of the Kazaks and Mongolians. They eat meat and dairy food, such as beef, mutton, milk, yogurt and milk-wine, in addition to potatoes and other vegetables.
They celebrate not only the Mongolian Aobao Festival but also the Spring Festival and Lantern Festival of Han Chinese. Every spring, they drive their herds of cows and sheep to leave their homes and start the grazing trip till July or August, when they would begin to make hays for feeding their livestock in the winter.
It's said that the Tuwas were originated from the old or wounded soldiers abandoned by Genghis Khan when he led his people to expedite westward. Some people hold that they're an independent ethnic group, while others believe they are a branch tribe of the Mongolian ethnic group. Up to now, a Tuwa is registered as a Mongolian when his or her ethnic identity is concerned.
Tuwas have no written language. Their history has been passed down orally from generation to generation. Since there is no written archeological reference, the folk stories have inevitably added mysterious color to the tribe.
Due to the isolation of their residential areas, the Tuwas always marry their close relatives, which has made the quality of the people drop increasingly. According to the governmental prediction, the tribe will possibly disappear within a couple of generations.
(China.org.cn by Chen Lin, January 27, 2004)
After which she pulled out a $50,000 bowl. She even showed me the book that her actual bowl was photographed and cited in.
Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan Province, boasts over 50 city sites from the age of the Five Lords, legendary rulers of remote antiquity, to the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and the Warring States Period (475- 221 BC), archaeologists have discovered.
"We have discovered many famous capitals recorded in historical documents in the city sites group in Zhengzhou region, including the city where Huangdi, legendary ruler and earliest ancestor of the Chinese in remote antiquity, lived, the capitals of the Xia Dynasty (2100-1600 BC) under the reign of the Emperors Yu and Qi respectively, and capitals of the early days of the Shang Dynasty (1,600-1,100 BC)," said Zhang Songlin, director of the local cultural relics and archaeological institute.
As the center of the city sites group, the capital of Tang, first emperor of the Shang Dynasty, is the first imperial capital built with city walls, with remains stretching for 12 kilometers still existing.
Named Bo 3,600 years ago, the capital, where the Shang civilization originated, has an advanced layout and ecological equipment, rivaling Babylon, which dated from the same time, said Zhang.
Moreover, except for large-sized state capitals, within the Zhengzhou region of over 7,000 square kilometers, are dozens of kingdom capitals under the emperors from the Western Zhou Dynasty (1,100-771 BC) to the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period.
The concentration of ancient city sites in Zhouzheng fully proves that before the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), The first feudal dynasty in Chinese history, the Zhengzhou region had been the political, economic, cultural and military center of China.
"It's mainly because of the importance of Zhengzhou's location where the Yellow River, mother river of the Chinese, flows from the Loess highlands into the North China Plain, an ideal place for an ancient Chinese society," said Zhang.
"The city sites group in Zhengzhou will provide materials for research on China's ancient cities and on the origins of Chinese civilization," said Zhu Shiguang, director of the China Ancient City Society and professor of Shaanxi Normal University.
"The seal 'Made in Yongle years', the reign of a Ming emperor...
Thats a painting of the Zhu Di, otherwise known as Emperor Yong Le.