Skeletons of massacre victims uncovered at construction site

Shanghai Star. 2002-04-11
A workman digs a 4-metre-deep hole at a construction site last week in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, where over a hundred skeletons are buried.

WORKERS discovered over a hundred skeletons while working on a construction site in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, last week, www.sina.com.cn reported.

After two days of digging, pieces of skeletons still could be seen in the 4-metre-deep hole on the site near Xin Nan Men.

After a rough investigation by local experts, the time of burial was estimated to be earlier than the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), and the number of skeletons is said to be over 100.

Chen Tingxiang, professor of history at Sichuan University, said that, historically, it was rare to see so many skeletons buried at one spot in Chengdu.

He estimated that these bodies maybe victims from the two massacres, occurring at the end of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). He said the discovery would be a great benefit to historical research.

A expert surnamed Wei from the city's archaeologist team said these skeletons probably come from a massacre which occurred at the end of the Ming Dynasty, following a peasant uprising led by Zhang Xianzhong. He had even set up his capital of Daxi Dynasty in Chengdu.

Pointing to the location of the skeletons, a place near the old walls previously isolated, Wei said these skeletons must belong to the victims of Zhang Xianzhong's battle.

But the site has been seriously damaged by the on-going project. In addition, the site is located in the downtown centre, experts said it was impossible to do further investigation at the site.

Workers said most of the skeletons have been transported to the garbage dump by vehicles, but they were not clear about where the skeletons were being transported.

Wei suggested the skeleton should be arranged well to avoid unnecessary problems. But he said skeletons that are hundreds of years old won't harm people's health.

(Star News)



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