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Earliest papermaking site found in E China


Papermaking is one of the Four Great Inventions in ancient China. Recently in eastern China, a papermaking site has been found near Hangzhou.

After six months of archeological excavations in Fuyang County in east China's Zhejiang Province, a large papermaking factory site dated back to the Southern Song Dynasty (about 10 centuries before present) revealed.

According to the verifications by archeological experts from the Department of Natural History in China Academy of Sciences, the Fuyang papermaking is the earliest, largest and clearest to demonstrate the techniques and process found not only in China but also in the world hitherto.

The archeologists said that this discovery was a great archeological success, which the history of papermaking had been made 359 years earlier than the site found in Jiangxi Province, west of Zhejiang.

In the near future, Fuyang will build a papermaking museum, and the factory site will become convincing evidence that the place is the earliest in world's papermaking history.

The site was found quite accidentally. Last year, when workers were repairing No. 320 National Expressway, they excavated and saw some broken pieces of porcelain. They thought there would be some invaluable treasures to be found.

The south side of the papermaking site is the Fenghuang (Phoenix) Hill, where fresh water will be flowing down from the top. In ancient times, it required about 500 kg of water to make 500 g of paper. Thus, the geographical location is excellent for water resources and drainage.

The excavated papermaking is having 22,000 square meters area, where includes factory and living zones.

The output of paper is estimated ten tons per day at that time. The archeologists think that the product was for the royal court in Hangzhou, the then capital of Song's China. Besides, there are many beautiful silverwares and porcelains found.

Fuyang paper was influential in the Southern Song Dynasty. It had been exporting to all over China, as well as Japan, Korea and countries in Western Europe.

(From : Absolutechinatours)


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