Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Divers explore ancient submerged city in China

Divers have discovered the underwater remains of an ancient city located about 90 feet below the surface of Qiandao Lake in China's far eastern province.

Researchers believe the city, called Shicheng, belongs to the Eastern Han Dynasty, dating back to around 25 to 220 CE.

Found in Zhejiang province, the city is also known as ‘Lion City’ because of the ornate lion statues that guard its entrance. The statues are reported to be in a fair situation in their underwater abode.

Guardian lions stood in front of Chinese Imperial palaces, Imperial tombs, government offices, temples, and the homes of government officials and the wealthy ones in pre-modern China.

The tradition was popular during the Han Dynasty, when the lions were considered to have powerful mythic protective properties.

The divers’ exploration is currently focusing on the city's western gate, which is believed to be used as a school.

The flooding that occurred in 1959 due to a hydroelectric project in the area is regarded as the reason behind the city's submersion in the lake. 

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