Monday, December 18, 2006

Protected Sites :Jiangnu Stone Site

The Jiangnu Stone Site is located near Bohai Sea in Suizhong County, Liaoning Province.

Before 1982 Jiangnv Stone was known as a group of reefs protruding from the sea. The following year, upon its exploration, the site was identified as a series of ruins from the Qin (221-206BC)-Han (206BC-220AD) period. Full excavation procedures were carried out in April 1984. Of the Jiangnu Stone Coast and another six nearby sites, the Stone Tablet Site is the largest and built one year earlier than the others, which were erected no later than during the early Western Han Dynasty (206BC-8AD).

The Stone Tablet Site is over 500 meters long from south to north and over 260 meters wide from east to west, covering an area of about 150,000 square meters. Surrounded by walls, the site has a tampered-earth high platform with a set of steps built in the central south. The eight-meter-high platform sits in the north and faces the sea in the south, with a series of tampered-earth constructions built on both sides and behind it. The high platform and the densely distributed constructions face the Jiangnv Stone in the sea. The largest Jiangnu Stone -- black in color -- is 24 meters above sea level; 11 meters long from south to north; and eight meters wide from east to west.

Historical records suggest that the Jiangnu Stone was a stone tablet from the Qin-Han period. A number of eaves and tiles carved with Kui (a one-legged monster in Chinese folklore) patterns and huge, hollow bricks were unearthed at the Stone Tablet Site, including some grand buildings and foundations. Since such grand projects were beyond the capacity of ordinary prefectures and are therefore deemed to be imperial palaces. If the Jiangnu Stone was the stone tablet of the Qin-Han period, the site would have probably been where the First Qin Emperor stayed on his inspection tour to the east.

The Heishantou Site lies on a high and open land and comprises three groups of constructions with multiple steps. The constructions were probably the Viewing Sea Platforms where Emperor Wudi of the Han Dynasty stood when visiting the great stone.

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