240,000 cultural relics unearthed near Three Gorges Reservoir

16:41, November 29, 2010      

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Archaeologists have unearthed more than 240,000 cultural relics near the Three Gorges Reservoir, an official with the Cultural Heritage Bureau of central China's Hubei Province said Monday.

China has allocated more than 1.9 billion yuan (about 285 million U.S. dollars) to excavate and protect cultural relics in the region, said Wang Fengzhu, director of the Three Gorges Reservoir cultural relics protection department.

Since 1992, archaeologists have excavated 1,087 archaeological sites scattered across 22 cities and counties in the region, with some 723 of the sites underground.

The artifacts uncovered include prehistoric cultural relics dating back more than 2 million years to the Old Stone Age. Relics from the Xia (21st Century BC to 16th Century BC) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties have also been recovered.

The dig was the largest ever archaeological excavation project in China with the greatest number of archaeological experts involved, said Tong Mingkang, vice director with the State Administration of Cultural Heritage.

At one point, there were more than 1,000 experts at the site, equivalent to about two-thirds of the staff of all of China's archaeological research institutes.

Tong said the Three Gorges Project Construction Committee had already initiated an overall plan to protect the cultural relics in the region.

The repair of the valuable relics will begin shortly, he added.

The Three Gorges Reservoir is on the upper middle-reaches of the Yangtze, China's longest river.

China began building it in 1993 at a cost equivalent to 22.5 billion U.S. dollars.

Source: Xinhua


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