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27 March 2011
3,000-year-old items discovered in southern China

The Jiangxi Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology (JPICRA) and the cultural heritage administrative departments of Jinxian County (China) made archaeological excavations at the Nantudun site in Jinxian County and explored sites dating back 3,000 years ago, unearthing a group of early celadon - wares decorated with a subtle sea green glaze - pottery and stone tools as well as a small amount of bronze ware.
     With the approval from the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, the JPICRA conducted archaeological excavations at the site from December 2010 to the end of March 2011. Li Yuyuan, head of the Nantudun site exploration team and an assistant researcher at the JPICRA, said they made 30 archaeological excavations over a total area of around 750 square meters. They discovered a total of 32 ancient items, ash pits, ash trenches, dating back between the early and late periods of the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046-771 BCE).
     The unearthed artifacts include fine and glossy stone tools, such as arrowheads, sickles, knives and adzes as well as typical celadon wares, pottery and some bronze ware. Li said that the excavations have made clear the age and cultural meaning of the sites, enriched the ancient culture of northern Jiangxi and are significant for the relationship between China's central plain regions and the regions south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River.
     The unearthed celadon shows that the celadon production skills were already mature at the time in terms of heat control, glaze and decorations. The celadon was no different from the sophisticated celadon made in the late Eastern Han Dynasty, which has provided new physical evidence for the research in early mature celadon.

Edited from People's Daily Online (22 March 2011)

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