A group of residents came across two-dozen pieces of porcelain while digging a grave in Guanghan, Sichuan Province that experts say date back to Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
Renshou village residents hit the stashed blue-and-white porcelain about 40 centimeters down as neighbors helped in burying a deceased villager on May 3.
“We hit a big stone around 40 centimeters down,” said Feng Ligen, one of the villagers involved in the dig. “We found a clay jar under the stone and the porcelain was inside.”
Local residents alerted police of the discovery and the porcelain was retrieved by officials at the local Sanxingdui Museum.
Experts found the two dozen bowls, plates and cups bear the intricate designs and shape distinctive of the Ming Dynasty.
“Based on their shape, these porcelain items were produced in folk kilns during the middle and late Ming Dynasty, ” said Liu Jun, deputy head of Guanghan Cultural Relic Management Institute.
The porcelain will be exhibited to the public after experts finish cleaning and identification work.