X-post from Tim 't Hart's EastAsianArch list.
With kind permission.
Ancient seawater filter found
ARCHAEOLOGISTS have discovered a 2,400-year-old filter used to extract
salt from seawater in North China's Hebei Province.
Ancient Chinese in coastal areas used to extract salt from seawater by
using a filter that would be placed under a caldron containing seawater
blended with plant ash, said Wang Lingfeng, director of the office for
protection of cultural relics in Haixing County, Cangzhou City of Hebei
Archeologists believe the filter is from the Spring and Autumn Period
(770 BC-476 BC) and was in good condition when it was found in Haixing
County, Wang said.
The helmet-shaped filter is 22 cm tall with an inside diameter of 13.7
cm and an outside diameter of 19.5 cm.
Along with the filter, a drain, fragments of pottery, metal ware, plant
ash and a brine well were unearthed.
Cangzhou was an important base for salt production during various
dynasties, Wang added.
The filter is the only intact one ever found in Hebei Province and it
proves Cangzhou was historically a salt production base, Meng Jianhua, a
cultural official in Haixing County said.
(Xinhua News Agency May 12, 2006)
with kind regards,
Matthias Arnold (Art-Eastasia list)
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