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Shangjing City, one of the five capitals of the Liao Empire in Chinese history is located in Chifeng city of North China's Inner-Mongolia Autonomous Region. A large-scale excavation of its relic gate which lasted four months is now over. The excavation has made clear the structure of the city gate and provides an important basis for historical research.
Built in 918 AD, Shangjing City of Liao was divided into two city areas, the Imperial City and the Han City. As the first capital built in the plains area by northern minorities, the Imperial City was the residence of Khitan nobles. Its construction strongly emphasized military defense. The highlight of this project is to unearth "Qiandemen", the west gate of the Imperial City, exploring its shape and structure in detail.
A large-scale excavation of relic in Shagjing city has made clear the structure of the city gate and provides an important basis for historical research.
The excavation work of the city gate started in July. After more than four months, a well reserved gate has been cleared out. According to archeologists, "Qiandemen" had been constructed for three times, twice during the Liao Dynasty and once in Jin Dynasty. The gate constructed in Liao period is 20 meters long and 6.2 meters wide. Stone and wooden doorsill and city gate jamb have been found in the relic site, which indicates the high building level in Liao Dynasty.
Archeologist Dong Xinlin, from Chinese Academy of Social Science, said: "There are two parts of 'Qiandemen'. One part is the gateway of the front gate which had a high tower above in the past. The other part is the Weng City that we are looking at. It is aimed at military defense. Walk out of the city and turn left, you can see its gate. We have cleared it too."
In 1961, Shangjing City site of Liao Dynasty was one of first batch of cultural relics protected at the national level set by the State Council. Since 1962 small-scale drilling, mapping and experimental excavation had been conducted several times by archeologists. Now it is the first time that an archeologist team from Beijing and Inner Mongolia undertake such a large-scale excavation.
CNTV.CN, 15 November 2011