The Institute of Archeology from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in a coalition with the Hebei Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics of Ye City recently announced that during a rescue excavation of a statues burial pit around 2.900 (blocks) statues were discovered.
A large number of the excavated statues being Buddhist. According to rough statistics during the excavation process over a hundred statues are with inscriptions, the vast majority of white marble and a few statues of bluestone.
According to preliminary investigation of the charateristics and age of the inscriptions these Buddhist statues date mainly from the era of the Eastern Wei and Northern Qi period and some individual bluestone statues from the Northern Wei and also, seen their individual style, statues of the Tang Dynasty.
CASS archeological researcher Zhu Rock, the Ye city archeological team captain said: "This burial pit and its unearthed relics holds the largest number of Buddhist statues discovered since the founding of the New China and is therefor one of the most important harvest of Chinese Buddhist archeological finds. The Statues unearthed have a significant academic, artistic and historical value".
Wang Wei, the director of the Institute of Archaeology spoke highly of the significance of this excavation and its value."This is a major archeological discovery of Chinese Buddhism, an important discovery of the ancient Chinese art history but also an important discovery of the history and culture of the Northern and Southern Dynasties of China."
In recent years an archeological team jointly formed by the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Hebei Institute of Cultural Relics of Ye City have been working hard to find and research this site near Ye outside Kuo.
In early January 2012 at Zhanghe, due to a flood of the river Nanti at the north side of the flood, white marble fragments appeared. The Ye City archaeological team of experts, aware of the unusual situation , decided to start archaeological explorations and eventually identified the sites located in the Eastern Wei, Northern Qi about 3 kilometers east of the east wall of the capital of Ye City.
The burial pit sites, buried under 5 meters deep quicksand, contained 2895 (blocks) of Buddhist statues. When arriving at the scene of the excavation the leader of the archeological team Zhu Rock could not conceal his joy: "We just unearthed a thing or two, so concentrated, I have not seen this before, I'm shocked.
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