Latest News:  


Sands of time reclaim Grand Canal (2)

By Yao Minji   (Shanghai Daily)

10:48, January 16, 2013

Underground canal

The street, just five minutes' walk from his office, is basically on top of the ancient canal. The bridge, called Yong Bridge, is long gone, but the street is not entirely flat. It has got a bit of a bump that is left from the buried bridge.

Outside Suzhou is a local river that once was part of the canal. On one bank are villagers' red-brick houses, on the other side there's a small wooded hill.

Villagers say that in the rainy season the water can rise as high as the first row of trees on the hill and it's easy to catch lots of fish, simply by dragging a fish net in the water that's only around four meters deep.

This segment of the river, or stream, is 25 kilometers long, around 18 meters wide and 2 meters deep; on each side are two or three meters of river bottom.

At the first glance, this stretch of river bottom looks no different from other rivers in the area, except for a small archeological site. Shards of pottery can easily be dug by hand from the soft, silty river bed or wall of the site; it just takes a few minutes.

This 25km stretch is the only part of the ancient canal remaining above ground in Anhui Province. It is not wide or deep enough for traffic but villagers still use it to irrigate their wheat and vegetable fields.

Irrigation, along with transport and flood control, was one of the canal's functions when it was built in the Sui Dynasty (AD 581-619). It was expanded later in the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) and became known as the Sui-Tang Grand Canal.

About 180km of the 3,200km Grand Canal of China passed through the province, mainly through Huaibei and Suzhou cities. All but this section is buried.

It's very rare, especially in the north, to still have a part of the Sui-Tang Grand Canal above the ground. While most of the better-known Beijing-Hangzhou Canal, mainly dug in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, are still above the ground and even in use, most of the Sui-Tang Grand Canal in Anhui and Henan provinces has been buried for more than 1,000 years, says Zhang Wei from the local Sixian County Grand Canal Bidding Office.

Related Reading:
>>Ceramic shards led to discovery of canal
>>Where king and concubine took their lives :Suzhou
>>Ancient canal buried in silt, sand and dust
>>New 'ancient town' rises along the Grand Canal

【1】 【2】 【3】 【4】

We recommend:

Top 10 best tourist destinations of China

Cute childhood photos of celebrities

Top 10 highest-earning Chinese athletes of 2012

Top 15 Chinese actresses of 2012

'Snake' element hidden in cultural relics

Beauties in ancient costumes

World Hakka Girl Contest held in Guangdong

When Chinese wives meet American mothers-in-law

Big mouth beauties in entertainment circle


Related Reading

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. Lanzhou MAC in actual-combat drill

  2. Submarine flotilla in routine training

  3. Unforgettable moments you cannot miss in Jan.

  4. Migrant workers start journey home early

  5. Who has stolen our air quality?

  6. Killer's girlfriend on trial for helping lover

  7. Food and flower festivals

  8. Have fun picking strawberries in Jinshan

  9. Robot Restaurant in Harbin

  10. Japanese crazy for blood types

Most Popular


  1. Taxi drivers' plight leaves passengers out in the cold
  2. China Voice: Living better or living green?
  3. Families of migrant workers are least happy in 2012
  4. Japan’s hopes to contain China laughable
  5. Sino-Indian ties
  6. Li pledges measures in fight for clean air
  7. A competent ‘general’ is also a good ‘platoon leader’
  8. Highlighting the skills you need in a changing China
  9. Will there be another Liu Xiang in China?
  10. Heavy smog reveals generation gap

What’s happening in China

Sichuan gets its first sperm bank

  1. Pollution triggers breathing woes
  2. China's rich prefer to give Louis Vuitton
  3. Schools take precautions after threats
  4. China uncovers 670 gun-related crime dens
  5. Beijing leads nation on rich list