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8 November 2003
New project for the protection of ancient Chinese tombs

China has launched a massive project designed to protect hundreds of ancient tombs in  the Mount Mangshan area of Luoyang city in Henan province. Archaeologists will make thorough surveys and exploration of the number and distribution of ancient tombs in the area, said Zhu Liang, head of the Second Archaeological Work Team of Luoyang city, which is responsible forthe current investigation and  exploration. Archaeologists will also search for unknown tombs in  the area, said Zhu.
     Beginning last month, the project will be carried out  in three phases, from 2003 to 2005, from 2006 to 2009 and from 2010 to 1012. Covering more than 750 square kilometers, the Mount Mangshan area spans seven districts and counties. The area is crowded with hundreds of thousands of mausoleums of ancient kings and emperors as well as tombs of nobles and ordinary people, the largest group of ancient tombs that has ever been found in China. The date of the tombs ranges as early as the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770 BCE - 256 BCE).
     Owing to wind and rainwater erosion and damage caused  by bustling human activities, the number of tombs that have surface signs has  declined to less than 400 from the former 600. "Efforts are extremely urgently required to rescue  and protect the ancient tombs in Mount Mangshan area," appealed Han Guohe, a  noted professor with the History and Archaeology Department of prestigious  Zhengzhou University. He suggested that parks and open museums should be built in the area to avoid further damage by human activities.

Source: China View (6 November 2003)

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