Centuries Old Underwater Statue Revealed
A stunning discovery came to the surface when water levels were brought down in China's Hongmen Reservoir. When waters were drained by more than 10 meters for a hydro-power gate renovation project, a 600-year-old Buddha statue and a submerged temple were revealed.
Late last year, the head of the structure was first discovered by local villagers. The re-emergence of the statue brought back some memories to the elders of the village who had seen the statue when they were younger. A local resident said that the statue was built by the ancient people as a spiritual protector to calm the current where two rivers meet. Boats easily overturned at the intersection of the two rivers because of the rapid flow of water.
Records suggest that the reservoir was located on the ruins of the ancient town known as Xiaoshi. Last week, an archaeological team completed its underwater mission revealing more of the fantastic discovery. Check out the video from CNN here.
The 12 foot tall statue was carved onto a cliff face and based on the style of the carving, experts believe it belonged to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Researchers also found inscriptions and the base of a hall under the water indicating that it could have been part of a temple.
The Buddha statue, which features detailed carving and which appears to be gazing over the body of water, was submerged in the 1960s when the Hongmen reservoir was built. This somehow protected the statue, as many such relics were destroyed in the 1960s during a period of cultural revolution in China. Wonder what else remains underwater - yet to be discovered.