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Local workers discover a hoard of 5th century artifacts in China’s Grand Canal

Ian Harvey

While working on the longest canal in the World, local workers have unearthed a vast hoard of ceramic relics and other bronze coins in China’s Henan province.

Villagers in China’s Hua county flocked to the site after the news of the ancient treasure started spreading in the province.

The Grand Canal is considered the longest canal in the world and has even been granted status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. its situated in Hua county of Henan Province in China.

Henan Photo Credit
Henan Photo Credit

The Canal was going through a routine draining and cleaning process, aiming to make the canal more effective by getting rid of mold and sand at the bottom.

During the cleaning, local workers started finding old artifacts, and upon further excavation found a plethora of ancient relics. The Canal has been dated back to the fifth century and thus contains remnants of ancient cultures within its oldest parts.

The canal is the longest of its kind in the world and stretches through 1,240 miles of China. The section of the canal is known as the Weihu river, and is 180 feet wide and some five miles long.

Another name for the Grand canal is Beijing-Hangzhou Canal; purely because the lengthy waterway serves as a connecting vein between the country’s two ancient capitals.

Grand Canal (China) Photo Credit
Grand Canal (China) Photo Credit

The news of the ancient treasure at the site was greatly exaggerated and spread like wildfire throughout Hua County and other parts of Henan province. Locals flocked to the various parts of the Canal to dig their way into the depths, searching for any valuables they could get their hands on.

During the unplanned yet extensive dig, locals unearthed a vast number of artifacts including ancient bronze coins, ceramics, and even gold ingots. According to the local newspapers, this kind of unregulated excavation of historic sites and the ransacking of artifacts has recently become a common phenomenon in China.

In January 2016, two friends were buried alive under tons of debris while trying to dig and loot the valuables from a tomb in Shaanxi province.

The longest artificial river or canal in the world, Grand Canal is a famous tourist attraction in China that runs from Beijing all the way to Hangzhou, passing through Hebei, Jiangsu, Shandong, and Zhejiang. The canal also links the other famous rivers such as the Yangtze River and the Yellow River.

The oldest parts of the Grand Canal are believed to have been built in the 5th century however the scattered sections of the canal were combined in the later part of 6th century during the Sui Dynasty.

The canal served as the main transport hub after its construction was completed. However, it also served as a defense against invaders: banks of the canals were broken to flood the enemy armies, although this practice had caused serious land erosion and economic problems for the region in the past.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News