China to Restore Ancient Mausoleum

Preparations are going well for the restoration of the 2,800 year-old Xichui Mausoleum in Lixian County, northwest China's Gansu Province.

Discovered on the Mount Dabaozi in 1993, the mausoleum is said to belong to the ancestors of Qinshihuang, the first emperor who unified China in 221 B.C.

A large number of relics have been excavated from the mausoleum.They include stone musical instruments, scraps of bronze utensils, a set of nine serial bells, which experts said are very precious, a small four-wheeled bronze cart, a set of seven bronze cooking vessels, an iron sword and a bronze kettle.

Experts say some precious relics are missing and as some were exhibited overseas even before official excavations began it showsthe mausoleum was probably robbed.

It is planned to put the 18 sq kms where the ruins of the mausoleum are located under key protection. The project is designed to restore not only the original look of the mausoleum, but also make the surroundings of the mausoleum as close as possible to its state in ancient times. A museum is also planned on the site.

Local government has started a grain-for-green project in the mausoleum area, with over 100 hectares of land having been planted in trees.

Located on the southeastern part of Gansu and striding across the Yangtze and Yellow river valleys, Lixian County is a very important historical area with recorded evidence of early human activities and social development. To date, more than 100 historical sites have been discovered in the county.

( People's Daily August 27, 2002)