Monday, December 18, 2006

Protected Sites: Tongguan Kiln Site in Changsha

The Tongguan Kiln Site spreads over an area of about five kilometers from Tongguan Town to Shizhu Lake in Wangcheng County of Changsha City, Hunan Province.

The site is one of the important kiln sites of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) in China. The 13 remaining kilns at the site are mainly scattered throughout Lan'anzui, Wazhaping, and Lanjiapo. Two excavations were carried out in 1965 and 1978.

A large number of unearthed color-glazed ware proved that the technique was incorporated no later than the Tang Dynasty. The pottery comes in a large variety, and is both exquisitely shaped and practical. The pieces are decorated with green-colored patterns depicting human figures, animals, plants and natural landscapes and reflecting the masterly crafts of pottery making from the Tang period. Moreover, most of the items have inscribed poems or other scripts -- an important feature of the pieces unearthed at the Tongguan Kiln Site.

Although Tongguan Kiln porcelain was popular around the Jianghuai area, it was also discovered in Japan, Korea and Indonesia. Museums in Britain, the United States and Sweden also have such collections from the Tongguan Kiln. The discovery of the Tongguan Kiln is of great importance to the study of China's porcelain history.

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