Ancient shipwreck discovered in Xi’an

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Archaeologists discovered the wreckage of an ancient ship subsequent to the discovery of the ruins of five large-scale ancient bridges in the old course of the Weihe River in the northern suburbs of Xi’an, capital of Northwest China’s Shaanxi province, on Jan 16.

Ancient shipwreck discovered in Xi'an
Archaeologists clean the wreckage of an ancient ship at the ruins of No. 1 bridge
 in the old course of the Weihe River in the northern suburbs of Xi’an, 
capital of Northwest China’s Shaanxi province, Jan 16, 2015
 [Credit:cnwest.com]

According to archaeological materials, few ancient ships were found in Shaanxi, with only one unearthed in the Lintong district of Xi’an.

Ancient shipwreck discovered in Xi'an
Archaeologists cover the wreckage with canvas to keep it warm at the ruins of the 
No. 1 bridge in the old course of the Weihe River in the northern suburbs
 of Xi’an, capital of Northwest China’s Shaanxi province, Jan 16, 2015 
[Credit:cnwest.com]

To keep the ruins warm, archaeologists covered the wreckage with canvas, and they did not begin cleaning the wreckage until 10 o’clock when the temperature in the area rose.

Ancient shipwreck discovered in Xi'an
Part of the wreckage of an ancient ship is revealed at the ruins of the No. 1 bridge 
in the old course of the Weihe River in the northern suburbs of Xi’an, capital
 of Northwest China’s Shaanxi province, Jan 16, 2015 
[Credit:cnwest.com]

So far, as the body of the ancient ship has not been completely revealed, it’s impossible to proceed with carbon-14 dating, which may reveal when the ship was built.

Ancient shipwreck discovered in Xi'an
Traces of “sao”, or a mattress used in dyke construction in ancient times, are seen at 
the ruins of the No. 1 bridge in the old course of the Weihe River in the northern
 suburbs of Xi’an, capital of Northwest China’s Shaanxi province, Jan 16, 2015
 [Credit:cnwest.com]

Archaeologists faced another puzzle. As the wreckage was discovered buried under the earth at two different sites, there is no way to make sure it belongs to two ships or just one that had broken into two parts.

Liu Rui, leader of the archaeological team for the Weihe River ruins, said that they will take three days to clean the wreckage of the ancient ship.

Adjacent to the wreckage, archaeologists also found traces of “sao”, or a mattress used to build dykes in the ancient times.

Source: China Org [January 21, 2015]

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