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Humanities 2018, 7(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7020041

A Preliminary Discussion of Some Important Discoveries Regarding Seaport Sites for Porcelain Shipping in the Jin Dynasty

College of Archaeology, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, China
Received: 22 March 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 18 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Further Explorations Along the Silk Road)
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Abstract

The seaports of the Jin dynasty have not been given enough attention for a long time. In recent years, some important seaport sites of the Jin dynasty have been discovered or reported, for example the Haifengzhen (海丰镇) site in Hebei Province, and the Haibei (海北) and Banqiaozhen (板桥镇) sites in Shandong Province. Based on these discoveries and other related information, we can try to analyze and infer the function and system of these seaports in the Jin dynasty. Firstly, Banqiaozhen Shi Bo Si (市舶司), the Northern Song Dynasty’s only foreign trade administration in the north of China, suffered a great deal of damage during the war at the end of the Northern Song dynasty. As a consequence, the porcelains produced in Northern China during the Jin Dynasty, such as Cizhou Ware (磁州窑), Cicun Ware (磁村窑), and Ding Ware (定窑) needed new seaports for access to the Korean Peninsula and Japan. It has been reported that many of these porcelains were discovered at Korean and Japanese sites, which correspond to the years of the Jin dynasty. Furthermore, a large number of these porcelains were discovered at the Haifengzhen and Haibei sites. There is thus a very strong possibility that these two sites were departure ports to East Asia of the Maritime Silk Road during the Jin Dynasty. Secondly, many porcelains produced in Southern China, especially Jingdezhen Ware (景德镇窑), have been discovered at the Haifengzhen, Haibei, and Banqiaozhen sites. Some Ding Ware products were also discovered in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River during the Southern Song Dynasty, and also many Cizhou Ware and Ding Ware products were discovered in Northeastern China during the Jin Dynasty. Furthermore, in the coastal waters on the northern side of the Haifengzhen site, archaeologists have found some traces of shipwrecks dating from the same time. Based on the above information, we infer that the Haifengzhen, Haibei, and Banqiaozhen sites might also have played an important role in the seaway transshipment between Southern and Northern China during this period. In conclusion, we can determine that the recently discovered seaports of the Jin dynasty had two functions and systems, both internal and external:the Haifengzhen and Haibei sites opened China up to the Korean Peninsula and Japan, while the Haifengzhen, Haibei, and Banqiaozhen sites might also have been used for domestic coastal shipping. View Full-Text
Keywords: seaport; porcelain shipping; Jin dynasty; maritime silk road; domestic transshipment seaport; porcelain shipping; Jin dynasty; maritime silk road; domestic transshipment
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Wu, J. A Preliminary Discussion of Some Important Discoveries Regarding Seaport Sites for Porcelain Shipping in the Jin Dynasty. Humanities 2018, 7, 41.

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