Chinese archaeologists have unearthed a large amount of ancient pottery at the ruins of a pottery workshop in Fengxiang County in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province.
Local farmers first discovered the site accidentally on their farmland in 2003. Since then archaeologists have uncovered an area that is 220 metres long from north to south and 150 metres wide from east to west, and covers an area of 33,000 square metres.
It is one of the largest ancient pottery workshops unearthed, experts said.
"The workshop was built and used some 2,500 years ago and the more than 2,000 pieces of unearthed pottery have great significance for the study of ancient pottery design and production," Tian Yaqi, the expert in charge of the discovery team, told China Daily yesterday.
Among the haul, archaeologists found 10-centimetre tall pottery figurines, which are believed to be the original forms of the famous Qin terracotta warriors, the expert said.
Tian, director of Qin (221-206 BC) and Han (206 BC-24 AD) dynasty research at Shaanxi Provincial Archaeological Research Institute, said five ancient pottery workshops were built by Duke Qin in the Warring States Period (475-221 BC).
"We also found a 35.9-metre long and 2.95-metre wide gap which was used to get soil to make pottery objects," Tian said.
"About 80 per cent of the pieces are wadang (eave tiles), with many of them decorated with special animal patterns, found for the first time."
Archaeologists also found for the first time square Qin bricks and various animal and people figurines used to decorate buildings.
"The discovery of these ancient pottery wares provides material for research on the technology of pottery making, architecture, building decoration and culture in that early time," Tian added.
Source: China Daily