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Rastelli, Sabrina (2002) The Yaozhou kilns A re-evaluation. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00029551

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Abstract

Despite its undeniable beauty, the blue/green ware of Yaozhou was not included among the five famous wares of the Song dynasty, and to this day, despite the evidence of intensive archaeological excavations, its primacy in the history of Chinese ceramics has not been recognised. Chinese literary sources dating from the eighth to the nineteenth centuries reveal that during the Northern Song (960-1126), the Yaozhou kilns had in fact gained official recognition, but from the Southern Song (1127-1279) onwards this perception had become negative. Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912) scholars hardly referred to Yaozhou ware at all, and by the beginning of the twentieth century, Yaozhou ware was not even identified. This may account for the negative view held by ceramic experts up to the first major archaeological excavation in 1958, but why scholars world-wide have continued to under-rate Yaozhou kilns despite the astonishing discoveries of 1973 and of the seasons from 1984 to 1997 is baffling. This dissertation shows how advanced this kiln centre was by reconstructing the manufacturing process from the preparation of raw materials to firing, on the basis of the archaeological materials. From the analysis of the architectural remains and their contents there emerges a continuous development of techniques and equipment pioneered or adapted by Yaozhou potters from the Tang (618-907) to the Jin dynasty (1115-1234). Finally, the examination of both the macrostructure and microstructure of the body and the glaze of a consistent group of celadon shards dating from the Tang to the Jin dynasty completes the reconstruction of the manufacturing process. Together with the study of the factors influencing the visual appearance of Yaozhou blue/green ware, this dissertation shows how well Yaozhou potters knew local raw materials, how swiftly they adapted to new circumstances, and the full extent of their contribution to the development of Chinese ceramics.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00029551
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:15
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/29551

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