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Molding the future of an ancient craft

Updated: 2022-12-01 07:35 ( China Daily )
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A Tongguan kiln clay mold featuring fish motifs.[Photo provided to China Daily]

In 1998, a German salvage company discovered the shipwreck, one of the earliest found along the ancient Silk Road. More than 67,000 pieces of porcelain were recovered from the wreck, 85 percent of which had been produced at the Tongguan kilns.

However, the output of the Tongguan kilns began to decline after the Tang era, and the kilns were even on the verge of being forgotten after the Song Dynasty (960-1276).

"Because the kilns produced cheap daily items that were mostly used by ordinary people, historical records about them are rare," Qu says.

Tongguan kilns returned to the public consciousness again in the 1950s, thanks to the archaeological discovery of massive relic sites in the region populated by ancient kilns. The archaeological site, which covers 300,000 square meters, has been protected by the province because of its importance since 1983.

Over the years, the local government has sought to revive the region's long tradition of porcelain manufacture and boost the local industry.

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