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National Archaeological Parks

Shanglin Lake Yue Kilns National Archaeological Site Park

Updated: Aug 18, 2021 govt.chinadaily.com.cn Print
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Shanglin Lake Yue Kilns National Archaeological Site Park
上林湖越窑国家考古遗址公园

Address: Cixi county-level city, Ningbo city, Zhejiang province
Hours:
May-Oct: 8:30 am - 5 pm (Last entry at 4:30 pm)
Nov-Apr: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm (Last entry at 4 pm)
General admission: Free
Tel: (+86-574) 6369 7210

Shanglin Lake Yue Kilns is home to a group of ancient kilns used from the second to 12th centuries in China. The sites surround Shanglin Lake in Cixi, Zhejiang, with nearly 120 celadon kiln sites covering 12.9 square kilometers.

The main entrance of Shanglin Lake Yue Kilns National Archaeological Site Park.[Photo/yueyao.com]

Shanglin Lake was once the central production area for Yue kiln celadon in the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties, and represented the highest achievement of ceramic manufacturing in China during that time. Celadon products were not only sent as tributes to the imperial family and court, but also one of the major goods exported by sea from China at that time, similar to silk.

During the Tang and Song dynasties, celadon from the Shanglin Lake Yue kilns traveled not only north to Korea and Japan, but also by longer sea routes to other countries. The southeast sea route led to the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, while the western route started in the southwest, passing Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar before crossing the Bay of Bengal to India, and finally reaching the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean coast. These exports promoted the exchange of Chinese and Western cultures through the Maritime Silk Road.

The Mise (literally "secret-color") celadon represents the highest technical level of all ceramic products from Shanglin Lake, with a smooth and translucent texture like jade or crystal. To ensure the quality of Mise ware, ceramic craftsmen used the same fine materials for making the ware itself in the saggars, or fireclay boxes which housed the clay during the firing process, in order to minimize contamination from regular clay. These saggars were nonreusable because they were sealed with glaze for maximum protection and had to be broken to retrieve the finished products.

The Shanglin Lake Yue Kilns National Archaeological Site Park covers an area of more than 1,518 hectares, with an archaeological research base, site exhibition area, museum, tourist reception area, natural mountain forests and agricultural experience area.

 

Celadon bird-shaped whistle from the Five Dynasties period (907-960) from the Shanglin Lake Yue Kilns site.[Photo/yueyao.com]

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