An ancient statue of Buddha emerged from the waters of the Hongmen Reservoir, in the city of Fuzhou, Nancheng County, East China. The statue dates to the period of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
The statue was discovered in the end of last year, when a hydropower gate renovation project lowered water levels in the reservoir by more than 10 metres. The researchers also discovered holes carved in the cliff, possibly indicating that a temple might have existed at the site.
The reservoir, built in 1958, is located on the ruins of the ancient Xiaoshi Township dating back to 202 BC, an important hub for water transport between provinces of Jiangxi and Fujian and once a trade centre. During the construction of the artificial reservoir 63 towns and villages, including Xiaoshi were completely submerged. In addition to the statue, local villagers also found an imperial decree carved into the stone face of the cliff.
Archaeologists conducting closer examination of the finds state that now sonar equipment and other devices will be used to get the basic data and underwater images for further research. Documentation and exploration of the submerged part of the structure is under-way.
(after Xinhua, China Daily, Shanghai Daily, Guangming Online & Mail Online)