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The Three Gorges area on the Yangtze has long attracted international attention as the site of the world's biggest ever hydropower project.
Now the eyes of the world are turning towards the massive rescue operation necessary to save the area’s many cultural relics before they are lost below the rising waters.
They have actually been working day and night at some 120 of the sites.
They have taken on the Herculean task of covering a tract of land more than 660 Km long soon to disappear below the waters of the reservoir.
These demonstrate that the people who lived in the Three Gorges area in prehistoric times had already carved out a cultural corridor with links to other ancient cultures spread along the Yellow River and Yangtze River valleys.These have included the Han Dynasty stone reliefs that served to decorate ancient tombs, bamboo writing slips, statues of the Buddha, stone carvings erected in front of temples or tombs and Chinese chessmen.In addition, a number of important architectural discoveries such as buildings from the Shang and Zhou dynasties in Wanzhou, Chongqing Municipality and city sites of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) in Badong County and Fengjie County have contributed significantly to the study of ancient cities in China.This makes provision for the protection of 1,074 historical sites and relics in the area prior to the completion of the Three Gorges Dam scheduled in 2009.This major project has seen nearly 100 archaeological teams drawn from over 20 provinces and cities in China.
This serves well to explain both the significance of and the necessity for the world’s largest cultural relics protection project now well under way there.