Early civilization sophisticated, dam dig reveals

By Wang Kaihao ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-03-18 09:12:11

Early civilization sophisticated, dam dig reveals

An archaeologist examines sections of unearthed ancient flood-control dams in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. [Photo by Wu Huang/For China Daily]

Archaeologists have unearthed ancient flood-control dams, a series of sophisticated barriers constructed 4,700 to 5,100 years ago that mark the oldest water management system ever found in China.

The discovery among Hangzhou's Liangzhu relics was announced to the public on Tuesday by the Zhejiang Provincial Archaeological Research Institute.

"It reveals complex planning and construction skills and may create a new horizon for studies on ancient Chinese civilization," said Yu Bing, an expert with the Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage.

Though a section of a dam was found in the 1990s, a major excavation from July to January unearthed 11 dams. The scientific team included archaeologists from the Zhejiang institute, Nanjing University and Shandong University.

The dams are from a period 1,000 years earlier than the time of Yu the Great, a legendry ruler of ancient China famed for flood control. No physical evidence of Yu's work has ever been confirmed.

Liu Bin, director of the institute, said the dams were found within a 100-square-kilometer area, with the longest surviving section running 6.5 kilometers.

"Its scale is bigger than any contemporary counterparts overseas, according to current knowledge. In ancient Egypt, there was a 4,000-year-old relic, but it included only one dam," Liu said.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

Editor's Picks
Hot words

Most Popular