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Excavating a Ming Dynasty Castle

Friday, March 22, 2013


ZUNYI, CHINA—Archaeologists from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences have surveyed Hailongtun Castle, established in 1257 and destroyed by war in 1600. Excavations have focused on the newer of two palaces, but a treasury, a pavilion, a quarry, and watch towers have also been found. Bricks, tiles, and roof sculptures in the shape of dragons were probably fired in nearby kilns. Inscribed steles have provided information about the history of the castle and its administrative system. Other finds include porcelain cups, dishes, bowls, plates, and stemmed cups; coins; glass wares; iron locks and fittings; copper armor scales; ceramic pipes for water; and ink stones. Haichao Monastery was built on the site in 1603 and later renovated in 1645.