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Three Gorges Dam Site, Treasure House of Ancient China

Posted July. 16, 2002 22:34,   


Remains of ancient China including bamboo poles from Jin Dynasty (B.C. 221~207) were found by a team of archeologists who have been working along the Yangtze River where Three Gorges dam is scheduled to be built, Hong Kong-based Chinese daily Wonhuibao reported on July 15.

The relics were found in an ancient Liye Castle located in Lungsan , west of Hunan. The paper quoted a source close to the excavation team as saying, “Liye relics are a testament to the history of China that has lasted for 5,000 years, and they are also valuable archeological assets.”

In particular, the paper pointed out, “Founding of some 20,000 bamboo poles is a major breakthrough that parallels to clay soldiers found in Ruler Shi’s tomb in Xian.” It went on to say, “The founding will help historians understand better the pre-Jin Dynasty era that flourished about 2,200 years ago.”

The bamboo poles inscribed with some 200,000 letters were unearthed on June 4 while the excavation team conducted a research on the ancient castle of Liye – a group of archeologists launched the research back in April along the 20,000㎡-scale mountainous area located between Hunan and ChungChing prior to the scheduled construction of Three Gorges dam.

And the archeologists expect the latest founding to include original texts of writings that scholars managed to hide from the emperor’s order to burn all the books except some related to medicine and agriculture.

The bamboo poles are also believed to contain records on trading of land, inheritance within a family, population surveys, court rulings, military provisions, postal systems, administration, governance and ethnics, which will give a close look into political, economic and social facts at that time.

Local governments along the mighty Yangtze River such as Hunan, Chungching and Schwan have conducted archeological excavations in 1,080 cultural sites , which will disappear when Three Gorge dam is completed in 2009.

“We have so far unearthed 30,000 ancient treasures across 40,000㎡, and total 1,300,000㎡ will be covered throughout a 1.2 billion yuan-scale project,” said local authorities involving in the excavations. “150,000 to 200,000 more relics are expected to come out by the yearend deadline.”