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The earliest high-fired glazed ceramics in China: the composition of the proto-porcelain from Zhejiang during the Shang and Zhou periods (c. 1700-221 BC)

Yin, M; Rehren, T; Zheng, JM; (2011) The earliest high-fired glazed ceramics in China: the composition of the proto-porcelain from Zhejiang during the Shang and Zhou periods (c. 1700-221 BC). Journal of Archaeological Science , 38 (9) 2352 - 2365. 10.1016/j.jas.2011.04.014. Green open access

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Abstract

Bodies and glazes of 54 proto-porcelain sherds and 18 non proto-porcelain samples from Shang and Zhou periods production sites in Deqing, Zhejiang province were analysed by EPMA-WDS. The results indicate that the bodies of all samples were made from local raw material porcelain stone, with the proto-porcelain samples being made from clay of higher quality. Wood ashes, high in lime and low in potash, were intentionally applied to the proto-porcelain samples, resulting in the formation of lime-rich glazes whose compositions were determined by a temperature-controlled mechanism. In contrast, kiln fragments and furniture show a potash-rich fuel vapour glaze, which formed unintentionally during use of the kiln. The firing temperature for most of the proto-porcelain glazes is around the maturing temperature for typical more recent lime glazes, showing that the potters were already at such an early time able to attain sufficiently high temperature in their kilns.

Type: Article
Title: The earliest high-fired glazed ceramics in China: the composition of the proto-porcelain from Zhejiang during the Shang and Zhou periods (c. 1700-221 BC)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2011.04.014
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2011.04.014
Language: English
Additional information: © 2011. This manuscript version is published under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This licence allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licences are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0.
Keywords: Proto-porcelain, Shang and Zhou periods, Zhejiang, China, Porcelain stone, Glazing technique, Firing temperature, GLASS
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1321956
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