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About the Kiln Site at Yaozhou

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The similar celadon was produced in Linru, Yiyang, Baofeng, Xin’an, Yuxian, and Neixiang, all in Henan Province, and Xicun Kiln in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, and Yongfu Kiln in Guangxi Province, and thus constituted Yaozhou(耀州Yàozhōu)Type System.

Kilns from the Tang Dynasty to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)

Geographical Location: Tongchuan, Shaanxi Province

Period: 8th century-16th century

Excavated in 1958

Significance: It has offered very important material objects for the thorough study of the history of the Yaozhou kiln, and helped to date other kilns located in northern China during the period from the Tang through the Yuan and to the Ming.

Yaozhou Kiln, known as “Ten-li Kiln” and one of the Six Famous Kilns in history, has a history of burning more than 800 years, leaving behind the richest cultural heritage. More than 3 million pieces of various kinds of cultural relics and 200 of workshops and stoves have been excavated on this site, including about 1,000 pieces of Tang Can Cai. It is seldom seen in the ceramic history of the world that such big excavation areas, great numbers of the cultural relics, well-preserved ruins and rich cultural intensions, and it is a huge treasure for ceramic culture.

Yaozhou Kiln was thus named because it was located in today’s Tongchuan City of Shaanxi Province, which belonged to Yaozhou in Song. Porcelain making in Yaozhou Kiln started in the Tang Dynasty, prospered in a period after mid-Northern Song, and ceased around the Reigns of Zhengde or Jiajing of Ming.

Its leading products embraced Tang San Cai, white porcelain, celadon, black porcelain, and ware in brown glaze, among which celadon was the most famous. With bowl, plate, disk, jar, vase, case, and censor as its leading ware types, various styles of small cups were also produced. Yaozhou ware features thin and pale gray eggshell, and glaze in even color. On the bottom or around the ring foot of the celadon ware, there usually showed spots in ginger brown as a result of the iron content in the eggshell fired at certain temperature, which was the unique feature of Yaozhou celadon. Yaozhou Kiln adopted incising and printing as the leading decorating techniques, forming bold yet smooth lines on the ware. In the Song Dynasty, Yaozhou Kiln exerted a great impact on the porcelain industry.

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