Verdex
Verdex
12 October 2022, 16:02

Relief paintings found on bridge walls in China

Relief paintings found on bridge walls in China
In the Chinese city of Kaifeng (Henan Province), archaeologists have discovered stone walls with graceful relief images of animals surrounded by curly clouds near the ruins of an ancient bridge. With a height of 3.3 meters and a length of more than 20 meters, the masonry images are the largest such work of art from the Northern Song Dynasty. Excavations are ongoing, and it may turn out that the walls are actually even longer.
The bridge found earlier was built in the 780s, during the reign of the Tang Dynasty. When Kaifeng became a thriving cultural and commercial center during the Northern Song Dynasty, the building was renovated and expanded, and 3D paintings were added. The stones were cut in groups and numbered, then the two walls were assembled according to the numbering. The high quality of the masonry proves the longevity of the bridge, which stood until the 17th century. In 1642, the Yellow River, which flowed under the bridge, flooded the nearby territories during a flood, and the crossing itself was covered with mud. Excavations at this site have been ongoing since 2018. Over the past few years, more than 60,000 different artifacts have been found here, most of which were fragments of porcelain.
In 960-1127 Kaifeng was the capital of the Song Empire. According to scientists, the population in the 11th century reached 700 thousand inhabitants - perhaps then it was the most densely populated city in the world. In 1127, Kaifeng was made the capital of the state of Chu, known in Chinese history as the false Chu due to the usurpation of power by the new ruler.

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