With the successive discovery of ancient sites of 3 of the 5 top porcelains of China, namely Ru porcelain, Jun porcelain and Ding kiln, the unresolved enigma of the Ashes of the Guan Kilns of the Northern Song Dynasty with a missing history of 800 years has attracted porcelain archaeologists of all generations.
In April 2000, Mr. Zhu Wenli, the honorary president of Ru Porcelain Museum of Ruzhou City, Henan Province, who had devoted himself to the duplication study of Ru porcelains for years, accidentally found a few pieces of special broken green-blue porcelain in Zhanggong Alley of Ruzhou City, where a citizen was digging the earth. Compared with the exceptional 4 pieces of green-blue specimens of the Northern Song Dynasty housed in the Shanghai Museum, the porcelains discovered were found to be of great similarity to those specimens. With this, Mr. Wang Qingzheng, the president of the Academy of Chinese Ancient Porcelain, believed that Zhanggong Alley might well be the enigmatic Ashes of the Guan Kilns of the Northern Song Dynasty. The cultural relics departments of the Henan provincial government carried out rescuing excavation immediately at Zhanggong Alley, excavating lots of green-blue porcelain, boxes and other object specimens.
Soon afterwards, more than fifty archaeologists and experts on porcelains from all over the world inspected those newly excavated specimens and the site in Zhanggong Alley. Although experts differ in opinions on whether the site was the “Guan Kilns of the Northern Song Dynasty”, they all considered this discovery a prominent breakthrough in the development of green-blue porcelain study. This site was built in the later years of the Northern Song Dynasty. A striking character of the porcelains found in Zhanggong Alley is that they have obvious lines in the shape of scales. The discovery in Zhanggong Alley is of great importance in archeology.