Riverbed offers up clues on lost ancient treasures

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Archaeologists in Sichuan province have recovered what they believe is the lost treasure of Zhang Xianzhong, a rebel leader whose fleet was sunk almost 400 years ago.

Excavation workers conduct archaeological investigations on a riverbed of the Minjiang River in Meishan, Sichuan province, on the weekend. More than 10,000 relics have been unearthed since January. Photos Provided to China Daily 

More than 10,000 relics, including gold, silver and bronze coins, jewelry, iron swords, spears, rings and hairpins, have been found in a section of the Minjiang River in Meishan's Pengshan district.

The items offer evidence that the river was where Zhang's fleet of about 1,000 vessels was attacked and destroyed in 1646, according to the Sichuan Provincial Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute.

Zhang, a native of Shaanxi province, led a farmer's uprising during the late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). He captured Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, and declared himself emperor in 1644. Two years later, Zhang fled the city, and was eventually defeated and killed by Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) troops.

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