Archaeologists have excavated a dragon kiln over 1,200 years old in Jingdezhen, once the center of China's ceramics industry, in the eastern province of Jiangxi.
The Tang Dynasty (618-907) kiln is 78.8 meters long and is the longest ever found from that period, according to Xu Changqing, head of Jiangxi cultural relics and archaeological institute.
The kiln, in the ruins of Nanyao Village, was unearthed by a team from Xiamen, Northwest and Nankai universities and Leping City, between March and November, Xu said at a press conference on Monday.
Dragon kiln is a long, sloping chamber, with a firebox at one end and a flue at the other. Dozens of tonnes of tools and ceramic fragments were also found at the ruins which cover around 1,000 square meters, said Zhang Wenjiang, a researcher with the institute.
The ruins were first discovered in 1964, but not excavated as conditions for preserving unearthed relics were very poor back then. In recent years, during debate as to precisely when Jingdezhen started firing porcelain, it was decided to examine the Nanyao ruins.