The Zhoushan Institute of Historic Preservation and Archaeology in Zhoushan, East China's Zhejiang province, has established a specimen bank for ancient ceramic chips from under-water archaeological findings, local media reported on Dec 17.
"Zhoushan was an important transit spot in ancient China and for global maritime trade," said Ren Jiguo, deputy head of Zhoushan Institute of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. "Over the past years, we've visited various islands in Zhoushan to collect relics discovered by local fishermen."
Ren added that they have particularly classified the ceramic chips with characteristics of the times and a specimen bank for the ancient ceramic chips has gradually been established.
According to Ren, the study of these relics can reveal how ceramics were transported during ancient times and the role that Zhoushan played on the ancient Maritime Silk Road.
The specimen bank currently has more than 5,000 ceramic chips made in Zhejiang, Jiangxu, Fujian provinces.
"Judging by the number and distribution of the ceramic chips, Zhoushan's involvement in maritime trade began in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) or even earlier historical period and culminated in the Song Dynasty (960-1279)," noted Ren.
He said that these ceramic chips assist them teasing out the timeline of the development of ancient maritime trade in Zhoushan, adding that the institute will continue collecting more relics to assist with the further research of Zhoushan's influence along the ancient Maritime Silk Road.