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Word Count: 468
Chinese pottery The earliest Chinese pottery of which we have any records is the Neolithic ware from the river plains and loess highlands of north and north-west China It was made between 5000 and 2000 BC and contains bowls jars pots and beakers of low-fires earthenware This pots were not turned on a wheel but were buildt up by what is known as the Coil Method That is a long sausage of clay was wound carefully up into a coil shape and this coil was smoothed and patted by hand into the shape of a pot During the Tang Dynasty China became the greatest and most widespread empire in the world Tang pottery is powerful and lively with sweeping sinuous curves while its decoration is often made up of flamboyant shapes and contrasting colours The first hundred and thirty years of the Tang Dynasty made up one of the most glorious periods of Chinese history During this time the dynasty was blessed with three rulers of supreme ability Li Shih-Min known as the Emperor Tang Tai Tsung the real founder of the dynasty who is often spoken of as the greatest of all Chinese emperors the Empress Wu fought her way to the throne with bloodthirsty ruthlessness and yet brought twenty years of peace and prosperity to the empire and the lastly Tang Ming Huang who brought the empire to the peak of its prosperity and cultural splendour and then alas in the foolishness of his old age saw the whole splendid fabric torn to shades During these hundred and thirty years not only did agriculture prosper especially in the rice-growing lands of central and southern China but arts and handicrafts were flourishing Szechnan Province produced gold and silverwares and fine brocades while porcelain of the highest quality was made in several centres Plate I Silver wine globet Tand Dynasty Victoria and Albert Museum London During
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