I have had a hard time adjusting my thesis statement and until now I’m not sure if it’s specific enough. I will tweak and edit it even more if necessary. I find that even with all the material I’ve read regarding Chinese ceramics there is still a lot of research I need to carry out.
Pioneering Ceramics in the Tang Dynasty
It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. The oldest ceramics in the world comes in the form of shards found in China’s Jiangxi Province, in the Xianrendong Cave, created about 19,000 to 20,000 years ago.  Suspected to be used as cooking devices, these ceramics were utilitarian instead of being created for aesthetic value. Chinese ceramics prized for their beauty and artistic value will arrive later in Chinese history.  However, the popularity of utilitarian ceramics created a market not only in China but in other regions of Asia as well.  By the Tang dynasty, items such as bowls and cups were mass-produced and then traded in the maritime Silk Road.  The diversity of ceramics produced during the Tang dynasty is an observation of how the Chinese, way ahead of their time, conveyed versatility through their ceramics by way of decoration, quality, and marketability in Asia. To further explore this notion, we shall analyse two ceramic pieces found in the Tang shipwreck. 
- Wu et al., “Early Pottery At 20,000 Years Ago In Xianrendong Cave, China”.
- Lark E Mason, Asian Art (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors’ Club, 2002), 38.
- Lark E Mason, Asian Art (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors’ Club, 2002), 52.
- Simon Worrall, “National Geographic Magazine – NGM.Com”, Ngm.Nationalgeographic.Com, 2016, http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/print/2009/06/tang-shipwreck/worrall-text.
- “Tang Shipwreck”, Asian Civilisations Museum, 2016, http://acm.org.sg/collections/galleries/tang-shipwreck.