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Sultan's Lost Treasure

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Date the Dish
by Rick Groleau

Blue-and-white Chinese porcelain, the type pulled from the South China Seas in the NOVA program "Sultan's Lost Treasure," has a long and fascinating history, going back at least to A.D. 1319, to the Yuan dynasty. With over 680 years' worth of artifacts produced by Chinese kilns, experts have a formidable task in dating these beautiful objects.

There are many clues that can help an expert—clues such as an artifact's motifs (images painted on its surface), its marks (writings on the piece), and the quality of its blue pigment.

The following feature puts you in the role of a porcelain expert. Can you correctly assess the age of a fine blue-and-white porcelain artifact?

    Date the Dish (980k)
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Rick Groleau is managing editor of NOVA Online.

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