Ruins of ancient city discovered in ChinaNovember 16th, 2007 - 12:32 pm ICT by admin
Beijing, Nov 16 (ANI): A hitherto unknown ancient city has been discovered near the city of Chongging in China.
Sitting atop a mountain in the Shilongman Community of Shijia Village in Bei’e District, this city city covers a 10 acre area.
The baffling fact about the discovery is that there is absolutely no record of the city’s existence. Even the local heritage experts were unaware about its presence.
According to Zhu Feifan, who has worked at the Cultural Heritage Division, the Press and Publications Bureau of Bei’e District Culture for over 20 years, “I have never heard of this city and there is no record of it in the Bei’e historical records.”
Though the only people that were aware about the existence of this ancient city are the local villagers, even they are clueless about its origin.
“This city has been like this for as long as I can remember,” said 57-year-old villager Xiong Zhongyuan. “No one knows its origin, not even the most elderly person in the village,” he added.
But a legend about the discovery of a boulder with mysterious characters might provide clues about the origin of the city.
According to the legend, several local teenagers explored the city out of curiosity many years ago. When they went down the steep cliff through the north side, they found a piece of boulder with some puzzling characters as big as an adult’s fist inscribed on it. Though they did not recognize or understand the characters, they believed it may have stated the city’s origin.
In order to find the mysterious text, officials from the Chongqing Municipality Mountaineering Association went down the cliff.
In the search that lasted for five to six hours, the officials were unable to find the inscribed rock as the cliff stretches several kilometers and the exact location where the local teenagers found it was not known.
But there is no uncertainty about the city’s structure.
The city is comprised of inner and outer areas.
The outer city walls, made mostly of windblown clay and stones, are about two meters high and were built along the mountain ridge surrounding nine hills.
The inner city occupies about 10 acres of land and can only be accessed by three narrow roads.
Originally the inner city was accessed through eastern, western, and northern gates. Though two of the gates have crumbled, the remaining gate is a well-preserved stone archway. Carved above this gate are the words, “Established in Emperor Guangxu year of 24 (1898 A.D).
The inner city walls were magnificent and also made of stones. The highest point was about five meters tall and one meter wide. Some portions have either collapsed or have been destroyed.
Inside the city, there are no houses, pavilions, or gardens. However, towering trees, foundations of buildings, observation posts, and reservoirs were there making it look more like a military outpost than a residential setting. (ANI)
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