Yaozhou ceramics found in newly excavated Xi’an tombs

More than 60 pieces of delicate celadon — green pottery — from the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) were found for the first time in Xi’an, Shaanxi province, the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology said at a recent news conference.

The celadon came from the Yaozhou kiln in Tongchuan city, north of Xi’an. The ceramics crafted in the Yaozhou kiln, most of them celadon, had reached their peak and represented the best of North China’s pottery work.

Since June, archeologists from the institute discovered more than 40 tombs from five dynasties of ancient China, ranging from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in the southern suburbs of Xi’an, Miao said. The cemetery may have held the remains of members of the Meng family who died at a young age. Their bodies had been relocated from other burial places

According to Miao Yifei, an associate researcher at the archaeology institute, 130 burial objects were unearthed in five Meng family tombs, including bronze work, pottery, porcelain and jade. Three of the tombs were in good condition, while the other two had been robbed around 2010. The relics that were discovered recently, are mainly tea sets, wine utensils and sacrificial vessels.

The objects recovered from the tombs include celadon porcelain tea and wine sets, utensils, and sacrificial vessels made in the Yaozhou kiln in northern China around A.D. 1123, during the Northern Song Dynasty. Most are in good condition, Miao Yifei said. Two of the five tombs in the cemetery were looted in 2010.

Wang Xiaomeng, vice-president of the archaeology institute, said the discovery is of great significance in pinpointing the porcelain age.

“The discovered Yaozhou celadons have no trace of use, and the crafting date is accurate, providing important details for the study of the Northern Song Dynasty tombs and Yaozhou ceramics skills,” she said.

Article and story source: ChinaNews 20 November 2020

One of the Yaozhou celadon pieces found in the tombs, from the Yaozhou kiln in Tongchuan City, north of Xi’an