Boat-shaped build­ings

Shang­hai’s first ex­hi­bi­tion on lo­cal mar­itime ar­chi­tec­ture opens

Global Times – Metro Shanghai - - FRONT PAGE - Page Ed­i­tor: wang­han@glob­al­

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.

Photos: VCG

From top: Vis­i­tors ob­serve a model of an an­cient Chi­nese boat. Boats are widely seen in East China.

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