Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal site un­cov­ered in dis­trict

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By DU JUAN du­juan@chi­nadaily.com.cn

A 500,000 square me­ter Han Dy­nasty (206 BC-AD 220) ar­chae­o­log­i­cal site has been un­cov­ered in Tongzhou, Beijing’s new sub­cen­ter.

Yu Ping, spokesper­son for the Beijing Mu­nic­i­pal Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cul­tural Her­itage, said the dis­cov­ery had re­vealed much about the area’s his­tory over the past 2,000 years. “Our find­ings have proved that Tongzhou al­ready had a large pop­u­la­tion dur­ing the War­ring States Pe­riod (475-221 BC),” Yu said.

“And dur­ing the Eastern Han Dy­nasty (25-220), there was a pros­per­ous so­ci­ety here with a good natural en­vi­ron­ment.”

From Feb 26 to Sept 28, nine teams of ex­pe­ri­enced ar­chae­ol­o­gists from across China were se­lected to ex­plore Tongzhou’s his­toric sites, aim­ing to pro­tect any relics be­fore con­struc­tion be­gan in earnest on the new sub­cen­ter.

Over the seven months, the teams’ 2,000 mem­bers ex­plored an area equiv­a­lent to the size of 187 Amer­i­can foot­ball fields — about 1 square kilo­me­ter — and ex­ca­vated an area of 40,000 square me­ters.

They found 1,092 tombs dat­ing to be­tween the War­ring States Pe­riod

It’s the first time that all the coun­try’s ar­chae­o­log­i­cal tal­ent has come to­gether to ex­plore a sin­gle dis­trict.” Yu Ping, spokesper­son for the Beijing Mu­nic­i­pal Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Cul­tural Her­itage

and the Qing Dy­nasty (1644-1911), an en­tire Han Dy­nasty era city, 69 kiln sites dat­ing from the Han Dy­nasty to the Tang Dy­nasty (618907), 10 wells and three roads.

As many as 10,000 cul­tural relics in­clud­ing pot­tery, chi­naware, bronze and brass were also found.

“It’s the first time that all the coun­try’s ar­chae­o­log­i­cal tal­ent has come to­gether to ex­plore a sin­gle dis­trict,” Yu said. “Our ma­jor find­ing was the Han Dy­nasty city site, which is the only one dat­ing from that pe­riod in this area.”

The an­cient city’s north wall mea­sured 606 me­ters and the south wall about 575 me­ters, ac­cord­ing to Yu, while the east wall was 589 me­ters long and the west wall was 555 me­ters. “It looks like a square with a to­tal area of 350,000 square me­ters,” Yu said.

“It would have had sig­nif­i­cant mean­ing dur­ing the early pe­riod when Beijing was the po­lit­i­cal, mil­i­tary and trans­porta­tion cen­ter of North China.”

Guo Jingn­ing, deputy head of the Beijing Cul­tural Relics Research In­sti­tute, said the amount of relics un­cov­ered was also rare for an ar­chae­o­log­i­cal dig in China.

Beijing in­vested 140 mil­lion yuan ($20.3 mil­lion) in the restora­tion and pro­tec­tion of cul­tural relics be­tween 2000 and 2015. There are cur­rently 236 un­mov­able cul­tural relics in Tongzhou un­der State-level pro­tec­tion.

PHO­TOS BY LUO XIAOGUANG / XIN­HUA

Four of the cul­tural relics found dur­ing the ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ex­plo­ration by nine teams of ex­pe­ri­enced ar­chae­ol­o­gists from across China in Tongzhou, from Feb 26 to Sept 28.

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