China speeds up underground survey of Xiongan New Area

Updated 2017-09-07 15:00:44 Xinhua

Chinese archeologists will finish their work in the 100 square km initial development zone of the Xiongan New Area by April 2018, Hebei provincial cultural heritage authority said Thursday.

The New Area, covering Xiongxian, Rongcheng and Anxin counties in Hebei Province, is about 100 kilometers south of Beijing. In April, the central government announced plans for the New Area, which will facilitate the coordinated development of Beijing and the surrounding region.

According to plans recently approved by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, archaeologists will carry out detailed prospecting and trial excavation in the initial development zone, officials of the Hebei cultural heritage bureau said.

Archaeologists have also finished the survey of heritage sites within the 200 square km medium-term development zone of the Xiongan New Area, and compiled plans for their protection, the officials said.

Among the most important findings were the Nanyang Ruins, the remains of an ancient city dating back to the East Zhou Dynasty (770 -221 B.C.).

Using laser mapping technology, archaeologists will continue survey of the medium-term development zone in 2018, the officials said.

The Xiongan New Area may eventually cover an area of 2,000 square km, according the official plan. Archaeological survey of the whole area will begin soon, added the officials.

The history of Xiongan dates back to the Neolithic Age 10,000 years ago. Bronzeware and pottery were unearthed in the Nanyang Ruins, which have been put under national cultural heritage protection.

The area belonged to the ancient Yan Kingdom in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 B.C.) and was an important military fortress in the Song and Liao dynasties.

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