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"Sculptures unearthed near ancient Beijing bridge"

Sculptures unearthed near ancient Beijing bridge
trefwoorden: sculpturen - China - Peking - Lugou Brug - 14e eeuw
A group of stone sculptures believed to be up to 600 years old have been found buried near Beijing's famous Lugou Bridge.
Sources with the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Cultural Relics said that a host of sculptures depicting animals and people, and stone columns, were found in an area 100 meters long and eight meters deep. They were probably made during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), said Zhu Zhigang, a prestigious researcher with the institute.
One of the stone columns had an inscription about the maintenance of the bridge in May of 1498.
Only half of the column remained, but when unearthed a "double dragon" inscription could be seen carved on top. It was one of themost valuable among the artifacts, according to archeologists.
Two human beings found at the place were probably civil and military officials, with three kneeling goats used to protect tombs, experts noted.
Most of the relics were probably used to maintain the bridge because they seemed to have suffered damages before being dug out.They would be useful in the study of Beijing's history, said the experts.
Built over the Yongding River 15 km southwest of the city, the Lugou Bridge is the oldest stone arch bridge in Beijing. There are485 small sculptures of lions on the top of 140 poles along the bridge. It is cited as one of the eight scenic attractions in ancient Beijing.
Lugou Bridge was also called Marco Polo Bridge because the Italian traveler had described it as a "unique and the most magnificent" bridge in the world when he came to China during the 13th century.
bron: Xinhuanet , 4 juni 2003