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In Photos: Ancient Shipwreck's Ceramics Traced to Kilns in China

Stunning detail and color

Java Sea Shipwreck images

(Image credit: Copyright Field Museum/Wenpeng Xu)

At the Field Museum, a brilliant example of the qingbai treatment shines with a blueish-whitish glow and displays beautiful detail work by the creator.

Ancient skills

Java Sea Shipwreck images

(Image credit: Copyright Field Museum, Anthropology/Kate Golembiewski)

These pieces of ceramic pottery, pulled from the Java Sea shipwreck, have the qingbai style of glaze seen from the southeastern region of China in the 12th-13th centuries.

Surviving pieces

Java Sea Shipwreck images

(Image credit: Copyright Field Museum, Anthropology, photography by Pacific Sea Resources)

In place at the site of the Java Sea shipwreck, these ceramic bowls were cargo on the ship.

Beautiful look

Java Sea Shipwreck images

(Image credit: Copyright Field Museum, Anthropology/Kate Golembiewski)

The ancient art of qingbqi — a bluish-white glaze applied to the outside of ceramics — is known to have been produced in the southeastern region of China in the Dehua, Fujian and other areas. These pieces are offered for examination at the Field Museum.

In search of kilns

Java Sea Shipwreck images

(Image credit: Wenpeng Xu)

In the Fujian region of southeastern China, this landscape covers evidence of qingbai kilns from the distant past. Ceramics on the Java Sea shipwreck have been linked back to this area.

Read more about new analysis of the shipwreck's ceramics.

Hidden in the hills

Java Sea Shipwreck images

(Image credit: Wenpeng Xu)

As the team hiked through the lush green landscape in Dehua in southeastern China, they kept an eye out for evidence of ceramic production in the hills.

Uncovering connections

Java Sea Shipwreck images

(Image credit: Wenpeng Xu)

On this path to a kiln site, the team discovers many pieces of ceramics to test for links to the Java Sea shipwreck.

Ceramic debris galore

Java Sea Shipwreck images

(Image credit: Wenpeng Xu)

On this hillside, a significant amount of ceramic production debris littered the overgrowth.

Pinning the locale

Java Sea Shipwreck images

(Image credit: Kai Li)

One of the team members records the location of the ceramic debris find at the Shimuling kiln site in Dehua, China.

Samples abound

Java Sea Shipwreck images

(Image credit: Wenpeng Xu)

At the Shimuling kiln site in Dehua in southeastern China, large amounts of ceramic production debris were available for testing.

Covering the landscape

Java Sea Shipwreck images

(Image credit: Wenpeng Xu)

At an ancient kiln complex in Dehua in southeastern China, named the Shimuling kiln site, pottery debris covers a pathway to the kiln.