Shanghai’s first exhibition on local maritime architecture opens
On June 9, Shanghai Jinshan Museum held the opening ceremony of a three-month exhibition featuring the historical site of the city’s first boat-shaped architecture and the cultural relics unearthed there. It is the country’s first exhibition of this theme.
Boat-shaped buildings, known as chuanfang or chuanwu in Chinese, once played an important role in people’s daily life in regions south of the Yangtze River.
In old days, ships were a major form of transportation in the area. Like horses are fed and kept in stalls in the north, southern boatmen anchored their ships at boat-shaped buildings for examination and repairs while having a rest inside.
This historic site was first discovered in 2016 in Daijing village, Zhujing town, Jinshan district. Archaeologists claim that it was built in the middle or late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) by a noble family surnamed Zhu, whose ancestors were once high-level officials.
Archaeologists found seven pillars on the ground and later discovered the eighth pillar. After more than one year of archaeological digs and research, experts unearthed most of the architecture and over 100 relics including seals and ceramics.
Excavations and repairs
In order to help the public know more about the history of this special architecture, Shanghai Research Center of Cultural Relics Protection and Shanghai Jinshan Museum organized the exhibition.
The exhibit consists of two parts, which shows the excavation and repair process as well as the architectural styles of the era and area.
At the opening ceremony, visitors watched a documentary about excavations and listened to stories from archaeologists. The organizers also launched a ceremony for a book about the historical sites and the story behind it.
Apart from the boat-shaped architecture unearthed in Jinshan, anyone can visit the other two sites in Wujiang in East China’s Jiangsu Province and Jiashan in East China’s Zhejiang Province.
From top: Visitors observe a model of an ancient Chinese boat. Boats are widely seen in East China.