Archaeological Discoveries
in 2001
Archaeological Discoveries
in 2000
Top Ten Archaeological Finds
for 1999
Archaeological Discoveries
in 1999

Sixty Beacon Towers of the Han Period

  Sixty beacon towers of the Han period (202 B.C.-16 A.D.) were discovered in Fushun City, Liaoning Province, in Northeast China. They are part of the Great Wall defense system built by Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty (156-87 B.C.) in the eastern part of Liaoning Province, extending from east to west for a distance of 150 km.
   Since 1998, the city has been seeking the original site of the Great Wall, and in about a year about 40 Han Dynasty beacon towers had been found. This important discovery has provided significant evidence for defining the extent of the ancient Great Wall.
   Since the spring of 1999, a large investigation team organized by the Institute of Museums and Cultural Relics and Archaeology in Liaoning Province has found the sites of more than 40 beacon towers along the Hun and Suzi rivers in Fushun City, in addition to the more than 20 beacon towers found in the 1980s.
   The towers were made of heaped-up earth and stones, in the shape of round hills with wide bases and small tops. Their average height is two to three meters, with base diameters being five to eight meters. Stonewall foundations were found around some of the towers.