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Ancient Artefacts Found in Taiping Lake in China

Ancient Artefacts Found in Taiping Lake in China


An underwater archaeology team from the Provincial Institute of Archaeology and the National Museum's Underwater Archaeology Research Center in China have discovered ancient artefacts in Taiping Lake in Anhui province, which date back to the Ming and Tsing Dynasties.

Taiping Lake, located at the southern foot of the Huangshan Mountain, is the largest man-made lake in Anhui Province. It boasts beautiful waters, differently-shaped peninsulas and islands, and stunning rock formations.  It holds an incredible 2.4 billion cubic metres of water.

The lake was artificially created in 1970 when a dam was built on Shuxi River, which is in the upper reaches of Qingyi River. A reservoir was formed when the dam was completed and named Chencun Village Reservoir.  While under construction, the local government moved residents out of the area and many well-preserved ancient buildings including ancestral temples and old residences from the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644 AD) and the Tsing Dynasty (1644 – 1911 AD) were submerged under 40 metres of water.  The reservoir was later named Taiping Lake to bolster its tourism value.

Taiping Lake

Taiping Lake. Photo source.

Earlier this month from March 2nd to 3rd, an expeditionary team undertook underwater archaeological work to investigate what remained from the ancient dynasties. Perhaps they were spurred on by the recent discovery of the almost perfect preserved Lion City, submerged beneath 40 metres of water beneath the spectacular Qiandao Lake (Thousand Island Lake) in China. The Lion City was also submerged by the construction of a dam and has since caused a frenzy of interest and a huge boost to tourism with divers travelling around the world to catch a glimpse of the ancient city. 

The Lion City underneath Qiandao Lake

The Lion City underneath Qiandao Lake. Photo credit: Europics/CEN

According to Huangshan's Heritage Bureau, after a two-day search using underwater robots and sonar, the archaeological team discovered some artefacts from the Ming and Tsing dynasties, which were clearly visible through a ship’s computer monitor.  However, they are keeping their discovery under wraps for the moment while they investigate further, and have not yet announced what it was exactly that they found. In the meantime, we are all in suspense awaiting the news and we will report back when further updates have been released.

Featured image: The beautiful Taiping Lake. Photo source.

By April Holloway



As someone from the 'West' I've always thought there was something very frontier-like about China. The country is vast and there must be so much we can learn about their history and their deep history. One thing I noticed about some Chinese art from a culture called 'Sanxingdui' is that its carvings look almost familiar. Is it just me or do many designs look like the art of the people of the Pacific Northwest Coast?

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April Holloway is a Co-Owner, Editor and Writer of Ancient Origins. For privacy reasons, she has previously written on Ancient Origins under the pen name April Holloway, but is now choosing to use her real name, Joanna Gillan.

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