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Zhongshan Grottoes in Zichang, Shaanxi
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Buddha statues in Zhongshan Grottoes in Zichang County, Shaanxi Province. The photo was taken on May 12, 2008 by Tao Ming.

The Zhongshan Grottoes, believed to be built during the Eastern Jin Dynasty (A.D. 317-420) are located at the southern foot of Zhongshan Mountain, Zichang County in northwest China's Shaanxi Province. 

It consists of 18 caves. Five of them have been unearthed so far.

The main cave alone contains more than 10,000 Buddha of different sizes.

Both Chinese and foreign archaeologists said that the Zhongshan Mountain grottoes have the same historical value as the Yungang grottos in Shanxi Province, the Longmen grottoes in Henan Province and Mogao grottoes in northwest China's Gansu Province.

They surmise that the Zhongshan grottoes may be the earliest grottoes in China.

(China.org.cn July 17, 2008)

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