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Ancient screen wall unearthed in north China
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21:54, August 29, 2007

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Chinese archaeologists say they have discovered the remains of a screen wall for a large state granary dating back 260 years in north's China's Hebei Province.

The wall's main body, was unearthed about 20 meters outside the front gate of the Yingyi granary built in 1747 in Shenzhou city, 260 kilometers south of Beijing.

The main body of the screen comprised four stone slabs, each 0.2 meters wide and 1.2 meters long, inscribed with the names of fund donors and costs for the reconstruction of the granary in 1897 and its managers, said Xing Enze, director of the Shenzhou Cultural Relic Institute.

The well-preserved Yingyi granary has 54 storage rooms covering 3,000 square meters. It could hold at most 1,500 tons of grain, archaeologists said.

The granary's structure was designed to be damp-proof and earthquake-proof, they said.

Xing said the folding screen would be valuable in the study of ancient granary buildings.

The screen, known as "zhaobi" in Chinese, is located at the immediate entry of a house. It is a distinctive character of traditional Chinese buildings.

Ancient Chinese people believe that "zhaobi" could prevent evil spirits from coming into the house. It is also a decoration with the practical use of preventing people from peeping into the courtyard.

Source: Xinhua

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