The Cultural Relics Institute of Hebei Province together with Jingxing County Cultural Heritage Bureau conducted comprehensive investigation to Jingxing kiln site, gaining a lot. The clue of underground ancient kiln was revealed in the south of Wengyaogou; Fengjiagou kiln should be a large prosperous kiln during Song and Jin Dynasty; Cultural layers of Song and Jin dynasty was discovered in Nanhengkou kiln site, as well as 5 groups of workshops in 8 locations, 14 remaining kilns. Altogether 11 kiln sites were investigated by the archeological team.
well groups at Dongyaoling kiln site
Although Nanhengkou kiln sites were all the remaining of Ming, Qing Dynasty and Republic of China (1912-1949), their structure and age characteristics were not accordance.
The workshop of Y1 was located on the terrace of River Gantao, lined up towards east along with kiln, from north to south were ash hole, kiln gate, workshop No.1, No. 2, No.3. On the back there was a temple on top, originally was “Yao Shen Ge” (The temple of Kiln God); Y3’s workshop and kiln were constructed as the three-storey attic buildings; Y4 and workshop’s structure was called “Guaijiaolou” (Corner building) featuring with inner piling saggers, which were the small two-storey hexagon building with five rooms and outside covering black brick; Y13 and Y14’s remaining were at the far west side, being known as “Da Xi Yao (Far west kiln)”. The two kilns were on the east and west sides with 8 workshops in the middle lined up, there was a large yard in front of the kiln and workshop, which was one of the best preserved kilns among Nanhengkou kiln group.
kiln Y1 and it's workship at Nanhengkou kiln site
kiln Y3 and it's workship
Dongyaoling Kiln was one of the six first discovered Jingxing kiln sites in Oct. 1989, which were mainly during Song and Jin Dynasty. After sorting out, 43 wells were found in the foundation trench of 67.5 meters in length, 13.5 meters in width, 2 to 3.8 meters in depth, as well as 6 ash pits. Both smooth and rough porcelain fragments were unearthed, which could be classified into three types, white, brown, and black; the daily utensils were in the shapes of bowl, calyx, cup, plate, vase, box, urn, jar, basin, pillow, and censer, etc; the decoration method were scratching, carving, impressing, and stippling, etc, which were mainly flowers. The black glazed ware took up large percentage among them.
Beifangkou Kiln Site was mainly white porcelain, as well as few glazed in the color of greenish yellow, black, bi-color. The shapes were bowl, cup, plate, pot, vase, calyx, holder, pot, ewer, basin, and jar; the bowls were mainly with solid or jade disc foot in pie shape, as well as few ring-foot. Mainly were the smooth white ceramic, which was the most special with the fine and smooth body surface. The kiln furniture were saggers in the shape of choanoid, cylinder, basin, and trefoil spur as well as a large runner wheel. Based on the unearthed greenish yellow glazed bowl, ewer , bowl with pie-shape solid foot, as well as other kiln furniture, the age of the kiln was from Tang dynasty to Five Dynasties Period.
This re-investigation of kilns in Jingxing County, not only enlarged its distribution areas, but also brought forward the kiln age to an early date, enriching its connotation, which make it becoming the important kiln hub. The group of wells at Dongyaoling kiln site restored the original appearance of porcelain producing with hand picking area and massive of raw materials in ancient China. Through this investigation, Jingxing’s kiln could be classified into River Gantao and River Mian system with six kilns in each. (Translator: Lang Langtian)