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About City Ruins of the Yuan Dynasty in Jining

Geographical Location: Jining, Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region

Period: Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368)

Excavation period: April 2002-November 2003

Inner Mongolian Cultural Relics Archeological Research Institute, led by Chen Yongzhi


The Jining(集宁Jí’níng) City, located in the South Central Autonomous Region of Northern China, was long known as the center of a large grazing area for ancient peuple nomade.

The site of the ancient city lay right on the blueprint for the highway between Hohhot , capital of Inner Mongolia, and Jining city, located slightly to the northeast. The ruins were discovered during a highway construction survey by a team of archaeologists in 2002, which lead to a yearlong excavation project covering an area as large as 22,045 square meters.

The square ancient site is 940 meters long from south to north and 640 meters wide from west to east, with well-preserved city walls in the east and the north (now measuring 5-6 meters in width and 0.5-2.5 meters in height). The city walls in the west and the south, however, were destroyed. Inside the city site are six vertical roads and seven horizontal ones dividing the ancient city into 31 blocks.

The abundant discoveries in the area — 91 groups of house foundations, 822 ash pits, over 110 ditches, 22 remains of wells, nine roads, 23 kilns, 11 tombs, four urns and 34 caches, where large quantities of utensils were harvested — shocked the world.

The unearthed cultural relics include over 200 well-preserved pieces of porcelain, 7,416 restorable pieces of porcelain, 877 pieces of pottery, 10 pieces of gold and silver ware, 351 pieces of bronze ware, 268 pieces of iron ware, 456 pieces of bone ware, 36,849 copper coins and more than 2,000 pieces of stone and wooden ware. Research shows that the various pieces of porcelain came from the nine famous kilns in the country respectively.


The excavations provide significant material for the study of city planning, and the economy and culture of the Yuan Dynasty. According to archeologists, this is an archeological discovery with the maximum amount of porcelain, most complete kilns and most diversified porcelain types from the Yuan Dynasty in ancient China.

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