Archaeological treasure trove found at Three Gorges Project in China

Archaeologists excavating during the Three Gorges dam project in China have discovered nearly a quarter of a million artifacts, the state-run Xinhua News Agency says.

The world’s largest dam project has created a reservoir that’s 410 miles long and more than half a mile wide. Before that reservoir was flooded, China spent $285 million to hunt for cultural treasures, at times using teams of more than a thousand archaeologists. They’ve uncovered artifacts ranging from medieval statues to early stone tools two million years old. While the sites they came from are now lost beneath the water, the artifacts they yielded will give fresh insight into China’s long history.

Now museums across China are busy conserving the artifacts and hopefully soon many of them will be on display for China’s growing tourist industry.

The Three Gorges Project is itself becoming a tourist attraction. It’s the largest dam project in the world, and the largest electrical generating facility. It’s also highly controversial because it displaced 1.3 million people.

[Photo courtesy user Rehman via Wikimedia Commons]