Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Preserving the Old to Make Way for the New
Adjust font size:

Along the central route of China's South-North Water Diversion Project, the excavation of cultural relics and the construction of the trunk canal are under way simultaneously.


For nearly 2,000 kilometers from Danjiangkou Reservoir northward, the water source of the central route in Hubei Province, there are sites of delicate antiques and rare cultural remains mingled with construction sites.


Archaeologists and builders are busy with their respective jobs but both feel time is pressing as there are too many cultural relics that need protection, while the deadline for the South-North Water Diversion Project needs to be met.


They must meet two requirements: to bring the water from the south to Beijing at an earlier date and do their best to protect the historical treasures along the route.


At the archaeological excavation sites that will be covered by Danjiangkou Reservoir, cultural relics can be found "at a random kick."


This is not exaggerating. In the past two years, particularly this year, a great number of ancient cultural relics, ancient tombs and ancient architecture that was uncovered showed high value for research, said a director of the Hubei Provincial Archaeology Institute surnamed Meng.


According to Meng, archaeologists excavated 4,600 square meters of a tomb group at Laoxingfuyuan in Yunxian County last year.


They discovered that the tombs date back from the Warring States Period (457 BC - 221 BC) to the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.


The relics unearthed include pottery, ceramics, ironware, copperware, silverware and other accessories. These antiques are of great significance in order to understand and study the social economic situation, life and burial system of the Warring States Period and Qin (221-206 BC) and Eastern and Western Han (206 BC -220 AD) dynasties in the northwest of Hubei Province.


At the reservoir dam site, builders are busy increasing the height of the dam.


According to Hubei Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau, by 2010, the dam will be elevated to 176 meters from its current 162 meters.


As a result, the water level will be raised and about 370 square kilometers of land will be covered by water.


Within this area, there are more than 210 sites of cultural relics.


The number of cultural relics that need protection is more than the Three Gorges Project.


There is a saying among the archaeologists: an ancient tomb represents one museum.


At the excavation site of a Chu Tomb at Changling, Donggou in the reservoir area, where a horse and cart was unearthed, senior archaeologists were astonished.


The tomb group is within Xichuan County, Henan Province.


The tomb is surrounded by the reservoir in the east, west and south. It covers an area of more than 40,000 square meters.


The tomb was built during the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770 BC - 256 BC).


According to archaeologists at the site, the water level of the reservoir area this year is the lowest in history, giving a rare chance for archaeologists because most tombs covered by water are exposed.


To the southern end of the Chu Tomb, there are Xiasi Chu Tomb groups that are under the protection of the Henan provincial government.


The tomb groups are tombs from the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century BC - 771 BC) to Eastern and Western Han dynasties.


The tombs have two different kinds of earth pits and brick chambers.


These tombs are of high value for the study of the Chu culture and the culture of the Central Plain.


To ensure the smooth flow of water from Danjiangkou Reservoir to Beijing in 2010, at the conjunction of the trunk canal of the South-North Water Diversion Project with the Yellow River, two sealed siphons will be built on the south and north banks of the Yellow River.


The water from the south will be siphoned to the north.


Again, cultural relic excavation and protection go parallel with construction.


According to Sun Xinmin, vice-director of Henan Provincial Cultural Relics Bureau, all the workers and engineers received training on cultural relic protection before working at the site. Construction teams even worked out plans for protection.


During construction, whenever a site is discovered, they report it to the cultural relic protection institutions immediately.


(China Daily October 23, 2006)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read

Related Stories
Expedition Adds Uncertainty to Underwater Relics Site
Divers Begin Search for Underwater 'Atlantis'

Product Directory
China Search
Country Search
Hot Buys
SiteMap | About Us | RSS | Newsletter | Feedback
Copyright © All Rights Reserved     E-mail: Tel: 86-10-88828000 京ICP证 040089号