Six Dynasties Ceramics

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       The Han Empire was followed by four centuries of political disunity— often termed the Six Dynasties period (220 – 589), which include the Three Kingdoms, the Jin Dynasty, the Southern and Northern Dynasties. This was the era when Buddhism began its ascendancy and the economy of the Yangtze River Valley caught up with that of the Yellow River Valley to the north. Celadon (青瓷) glazed porcelain stoneware termed Yue ware (越窯) began to occupy an ever-increasing role in daily life, Buddhist rituals, and burials.

       Yue refers to all southern high-fired celadon wares dating from as early as the Warring States period (480 - 221 B.C.) to the early Song Dynasty (10th century). Celadon is a descriptive term used primarily in the West to describe green glaze porcelain wares. Produced with iron oxide as the coloring agent and fired in a reduction atmosphere over 1200 ℃, Yue celadon in fact can range from yellow to grey-green, olive, blue, or blue-green, depending on its glaze compound and conditions of firing. Yue undoubtedly dominated ceramic production during this period and much of it was produced in the ancient Wu-Yue (吳越) district in Zhejiang Province.