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

The Central Capital City (Zhongdu)
of the Yuan Dynasty

  With a surveyed area of 300,000 square meters in Hebei Province, the ancient capital city was constructed with one inside city enclosed by an intermediate city and another outer city. The excavation site covers an area of 1430 square meters. During the excavation, a platform of the central palace of the inside city, a superb palace gateway and a corner terrace structure of a special shape were found, and a great amount of valuable building components and materials including stone, ceramics, iron, bronze and wood were collected.

  The foundation of the Yuan Dynasty city, two to three meters above the ground, and the specially styled rammed corner terraces in the inside city have provided evidence to identify the city structure and disposition, and the building layout. The survey shows that there were four gates in the inside city, three gates in the intermediate city, a waterway, and in the best preserved location of the outer city, remains of the ruined rammed terraces of a city wall about one meter high can be seen. In the three cities, ruins of buildings were also found, including the foundations of a group of I-patterned principal palace constructions with distinct central axial alignment and symmetric distribution of buildings. The unearthed high quality building materials and components include corner designs of exquisitely carved white marble heads (without horns) of dragons, glazed beasts and a relief dragon design on the tile-ends.

  The discovery provides new and substantial evidence for the study of the capital of the Yuan Dynasty.