Brief history of Zhejiang porcelain
East China's Zhejiang province is rich in porcelain, one of the greatest inventions of ancient times. Prior to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), present-day Zhejiang was essentially the center of the porcelain industry in China and the entire world.
Ancient China started to manufacture proto-porcelain in today's Zhejiang as early as the Xia Dynasty (c.21st century -16th century BC), the first dynasty in Chinese history, and invented celadon in Zhejiang during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220). These were two extremely significant events in the technological evolution of ceramics.
A proto-porcelain fragment made during the Xia Dynasty is excavated in Huzhou, Zhejiang province. [Photo/ thehour.cn]
In present-day Zhejiang, archaeologists have discovered a large number of proto-porcelain kilns dating before the Qin Dynasty (221-207BC) and celadon kilns dating between the Eastern Han Dynasty and Sui Dynasty (581-618), both of which boasted the largest production scales and most advanced technology in the world at the time.