New Delhi, April 28 : Archaeologists in China have suggested that Deqing, an east Zhejiang Province county was most likely the birthplace of the country's ancient porcelain.
The team said that sites of more than 30 ancient porcelain kilns from the Shang, Western Zhou and Eastern Zhou dynasties (1600 B.C. to 256 B.C.) were discovered in Deqing, suggesting that China's ancient porcelain activities originated in the area.
In the latest excavations from early 2007 to present, archaeologists found 10 porcelain kiln sites from the ancient periods in the Huoshaoshan and Tingziqiao areas.
Archaeologists unearth a number of pieces of porcelain, such as bowls, plates and pots, in the two areas. These pieces were believed to be made for the then royal families and high-ranking nobles.
The unearthed porcelain pieces covered all kinds of ancient porcelain works that archaeologist had found in recent years in the country's southern region, according to experts.
"Just as man should trace its roots and ancestors, this new and important discovery ensures me that the celadon works popular in recent years in society, collected by the National Museum of Chinaor individuals or even found in markets abroad, their headstream was in Deqing," Xinhua quoted Geng Baochang, China Ancient Ceramic Institute chairman, as saying.
Wang Liying, the institute's vice chairwoman said that from the samples of unearthed porcelain pieces, "the porcelain should have been elaborate works in terms of the shaping crafts, quality and making technologies."
She added that the physical features of the porcelain can be comparable to those of porcelain works produced in the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220).
Chinese archaeologists formerly believed the well-developed porcelain works appeared in the Eastern Han Dynasty.
China has a long history of porcelain and pottery production as ceramic products, along with silk, were the favourite exports in ancient times. The earliest-known porcelain dates back to the Shang Dynasty (1600 B.C. to 1100 B.C.).
"China has a splendid history of porcelain," said Qin Dashu, a Peking University professor.
"The excavations of porcelain sites in Deqing are just a small part. We believe more archaeological achievements will come with further research," Dashu added.