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Ancient Kiln Replica being built in Jingdezhen


A replica of a kiln dating back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279) is being rebuilt in Jingdezhen, a city in Jiangxi province that has been dubbed China's ceramics capital.

Porcelain archaeologists, scholars and inheritors of intangible cultural heritages attended the launch ceremony for rebuilding the kiln on China's National Cultural Heritage Day, which fell on Saturday this year.

The kiln, known as the "dragon kiln" as it looks like a dragon lying on a slope, originated in the Warring States Period (475 BC-221 BC).

The replica is designed to cover 30.08 square meters, with a 1.2-meter-high furnace. In accordance with ancient practices, the kiln will be heated by burning pine wood, said Li Meng, deputy chief of the Jiangxi provincial ceramics research institute.

With the development of the porcelain industry and improvements to the shape of kilns, the Song Dynasty witnessed the peak period for building the dragon kiln, said Li.

The replica is not the first ancient-style kiln to be fired in recent years. In 2009, Jingdezhen recreated a 300-year-old wood-fired ceramic kiln, the largest of its kind. In 2010, the city successfully fired a replica of the Gourd Kiln, a style of kiln that dates back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Zhou Ronglin, director of the Jingdezhen Ceramic Culture Heritage Protection Center, said the city is also planning to rebuild other forms of traditional kilns that have disappeared over time.

"By rebuilding and firing the ancient style of kiln, we can better inherit and preserve techniques like kiln-building and ceramic-firing," Zhou said.

Jingdezhen has a history of producing quality pottery going back 1,700 years. For hundreds of years, Jingdezhen represented the best in porcelain art throughout the world.