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Temple dedicated to Chinese Taoist master excavated

(Xinhua)    17:27, April 20, 2015

NANCHANG -- The Great Shangqing Palace, a temple dedicated to a Chinese Taoist master, was excavated in east China's Jiangxi Province, said local sources Sunday evening.

Zhang Daoling (34-156), who founded a sect of Taoism and was known as Celestial Master Zhang, is believed to have lived and practiced Taoism at Longhu Mountain in Jiangxi, where a temple was built during the Han Dynasty (202 B.C -220 A.D.) and renovated and expanded in the following centuries.

"It was a very important Taoist site in history," said Xu Changqing, head of the Jiangxi provincial archaeological institute.

The temple was destroyed in a fire in 1930.

Excavation on the temple started last June. The ruins covered about 10,000 square meters (about one hectare), where pieces of pottery and porcelain as well as building components were unearthed, including some glazed tiles found in the temple's ancient paintings.

"The items discovered suggest how the palace evolved from the Song Dynasty to the Qing," said Xin Lixian, a research fellow with the National Museum of China.

He noted that only a small part of the palace was excavated.

According to Xin, the palace's ruins were among the largest and best preserved in south China.

"It also provides scientific evidence for research on ancient Chinese royal architecture," he said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Gao Yinan,Yao Chun)

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