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

The Sui and Tang Grand Canal in Huaibei,
Anhui Province

  Eight 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.