Sui and Tang Grand Canal in Huaibei,
sunken ships of the Tang period and a stone wharf of the Song period
were discovered on the south side of the original course of the
Grand Canal. In 1999, three of the sunken ships were excavated.
The No. 1 sunken ship was made of timber. It is in a rectangular
form, and the bottom and stern of the ship remain in fairly good
condition, with a complete rudder. On the crossbeam of the stern
chamber there are three casements in which the handles of the rudder
were placed for the change of direction. The No.2 ship is a dugout
canoe made from a whole tree trunk. The No.3 ship consists of only
half of the hull, with a section of the bottom attached to it.
The rectangular stone wharf is situated on the south bank of
the canal. Its east and west sides were reinforced with rammed earth.
It was a wharf for handling goods. This was the first discovery
of a relic of construction on the Sui and Tang Grand Canal. Liuzi
County was an important town on the Tongji Water Channel during
the periods of the Sui, Tang and Song. The excavation shows that
the county had had a transient goods wharf and had been a large
hub of commerce and travel. A great number of valuable fine porcelain
wares produced by various kilns of the Tang and Song were unearthed.
The articles, in various shapes, are in good condition, and most
of them are of the best quality. Particularly, the discovery of
porcelain ware of the Liao period on the Grand Canal in the Huaibei,
Anhui Province, will provide valuable materials for the study of
communications during the Yuan and Song dynasties.