Ancient Chinese Bowls

A semi-transparent stone bowl, produced during the Song Dynasty (960–1279)

A Chinese bowl produced during the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279)

COMMENTS FROM GOOGLE PLUS

Plautus Satire (Nov 26, 2015)
The delicate nature of this carved bowl suggests a technology we don’t have today. What material is it?

All Things Chinese
I’m not sure, but I believe it is jade. 

Architecture Technology
Is it too hard to believe that humans are capable of making such art by hand we do it every day? This could have simply been placed over a bowl shape mould and carved to perfection. Most work in those days could be easily edited by adding or subtracting the material. something that would be impossible to get precise would be stone. No matter how you chip stone dents and carving shavings can come off in chunks and are hard to replace. There are many mysteries of the past and technology that could have existed, but I think this is simply good old fashion human ingenuity.

Plautus Satire
Show me modern examples of such carvings.

Architecture Technology
I actually own one of these swords. They don’t really make these any more since ivory has become harder to come by. The 19th century is pretty recent.

Plautus Satire
Can you show me any that even approach the complexity and delicate nature of this piece? If that’s ivory then there are parts of it that are less than a millimetre thick and 50 millimetres long, with similar width branches coming off the sides. I defy you to find such shapes carved out of ANYTHING. 3d printing MIGHT be able to replicate most if not all of this but what were they carving this with, a miniature dentist drill? Go back to the drawing board.

Incidentally “organic designs” many of the “ivory carvings” produced by the link you provided are if you check the referring pages, actually ivory colored moulded plastic and are not carved anything.

Architecture Technology
They maybe Jade for all I know. It does look like ivory. But I did find this little snippet of info for you to get started. 

Jade is so hard that it cannot even be cut by steel. It is not actually carved but is shaped by wearing away the surface of the jade with harder stones such as quartz sand, or crushed garnets. In such a way, very slowly, the jade is formed and smoothed. Jade is not indigenous to China but had to be carried great distances from Central Asia or Siberia. No wonder the ancient Chinese highly valued jade and thought it had magical properties!
http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/special/china_4000bce_bronze.htm

Plautus Satire
There’s no way to determine how it was carved except by asking the maker, but I do know nothing like this is ever carved out of anything today.

All Things Chinese
Have you heard Lantianyu (蓝田玉)? This is a kind of jade mined in Lantian Mountain in China’s Shaanxi province. Jade carving in China began since 5,000 years ago and most materials were produced locally. In fact, the trade relationship between China and the Middle East did not start until the Tang Dynasty about 1,000 years ago. 

Architecture Technology
Thanks for the info. I am an amateur archaeologist. I do hope to go back to school after I am done with my architecture major. I’m especially fascinated with ancient China and Japan. Both cultures were quite advanced and were great at carving intricate pottery and swords.

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