Archeologists unearth ancient canal lock in Shandong

09:07, December 23, 2010      

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Photo taken on Tuesday shows the site of Tuqiao Lock. Photo: Xinhua

A site of the canal lock (called Tuqiao Lock) along the Grand Canal was unearthed completely in Liaocheng, Shandong Province. It will be put into use as the eastern section of the South-North Water Transfer Project after restoration.

Starting in Beijing, the Grand Canal passes through Tianjin and the provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang to the city of Hangzhou. Built 2,500 years ago, it is still the longest canal or artificial river in the world, about 1,794 kilometers long.

The unearthing work of the canal lock lasted from August to December. The Tuqiao Lock built in 1471 during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) was one of the 13 waterlocks in the Liaocheng section of the Great Canal, which can adjust the water level. It is said that one component of the Tuqiao Lock ‘Lock Mouth’ is cubic - 6.8 meters long, 6.2 meters wide and 7.5 meters deep.

At the same time, there are many cultural relics unearthed, including thousands of porcelains, hundreds of ironwares, few stone and jade wares, which offer samples for the study of ceramics from the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Source: Global Times
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