Ex­ca­va­tion of 2,500-year-old city be­gins

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By ZHANG YU zhangyu1@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Ex­ca­va­tion of the site of a 2,500-year-old city re­cently started in Xing­tai, He­bei prov­ince.

The city — Bairencheng — be­longed to the state of Zhao dur­ing the Spring and Au­tumn and War­ring States Pe­riod (770-221 BC). It is one of the largest ex­ist­ing an­cient cities in China.

Cov­er­ing about 4 square kilo­me­ters, it was for­ti­fied on three sides by walls, with its north side bor­dered by the Zhihe River.

The walls to­tal about 8,017 me­ters in length, with the best-pre­served sec­tions mea­sur­ing an av­er­age of 2 to 6 me­ters in height.

The walls were built with rammed earth, the same ma­te­rial tech­nique in the con­struc­tion of much of the Great Wall.

The site is lo­cated in Shuang­bei town, Longyao county, about 400 km from Bei­jing.

Ex­ca­va­tion of the site, the first of its kind since the found­ing of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China in 1949, will be funded by a 1.15 mil­lion yuan ($167,273) in­vest­ment, ac­cord­ing to the Xing­tai gov­ern­ment’s web­site.

The job will last about six months, said Cao Shengfeng, a pub­lic­ity of­fi­cial in Longyao county.

A prepara­tory sur­vey of the site was com­pleted in Novem­ber last year.

In 2013, the site was listed as a na­tional key relic pro­tec­tion unit.

To­tal length of the walls at the site of Bairencheng

MOU YU / XIN­HUA

Overview of the Bairencheng ar­chae­o­log­i­cal site.

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