Ruins of five ancient bridges found in Shaanxi

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Chinese archaeologists have found five large ancient bridges in Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi province after 10 months of excavation.

Ruins of five ancient bridges found in Shaanxi
According to news released by Cultural Relics
Bureau of Shaanxi Province on Jan. 15, 

archaeologists have found remains
of five ancient large bridges on the north side 

of the site of Chang’an
City of the Han Dynasty (202BC-220AD). It is the first time

 that so many
ancient large bridges have been found at one site

 [Credit: Chinanews/Zhang
Yuan]

The archaeological excavations started in February and lasted till the end of 2014 on the ruins of Weiqiao, a group of bridges built during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 24).According to Liu Rui, excavation team head and research associate with the institute of archaeology of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Weiqiao was an important transport hub that linked the dynasty capital of Chang’an (now Xi’an city) with its outside regions.

Ruins of five ancient bridges found in Shaanxi
Ruins of five ancient bridges found in Shaanxi
Ruins of five ancient bridges found in Shaanxi
Ruins of five ancient bridges found in Shaanxi
View of the ruins of No. 1 bridge of Chucheng Gate in the northern suburbs 
of Xi’an, capital of Northwest China’s Shaanxi province, Jan 15, 2015 
 [Credit: Chinanews/Zhang
Yuan]

The excavations were jointly carried by the archaeologists from the institute of archaeology of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Shaanxi provincial institute of archaeology and Xi’an institute of cultural relics and archaeology.

Ruins of five ancient bridges found in Shaanxi
Eaves tile unearthed at the ruins of No. 1 bridge of Chucheng Gate in the northern
 suburbs of Xi’an, capital of Northwest China’s Shaanxi province, Jan 15, 2015.
[Credit: Chinanews/Zhang
Yuan]
Ruins of five ancient bridges found in Shaanxi
Stone rammer unearthed at the ruins of No. 1 bridge of Chucheng Gate in the northern
 suburbs of Xi’an, capital of Northwest China’s Shaanxi province, Jan 15, 2015
[Credit: Chinanews/Zhang
Yuan]

Wang Zhiyou, research associate with Shaanxi provincial institute of archaeology, said according to the unearthed wooden bridge piles, experts speculate that the bridges would be more than 880 meters in length and more than 15.4 meters in width.

Ruins of five ancient bridges found in Shaanxi
View of the ruins of No. 5 bridge of Chucheng Gate in the northern suburbs 
of Xi’an, capital of Northwest China’s Shaanxi province, Jan 15, 2015 
[Credit: Chinanews/Zhang
Yuan]

“The discovery of the bridges is of great value for the protection of the ruins of ancient Chang’an city and the study of the transportation history of the Qin (221 BC-207 BC),” Liu said.

Excavations on the ruins are ongoing.

Authors: Lu Hongyan and Ma Lie | Source: China Daily [January 16, 2015]

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