East China's Jiangxi Province will launch an underwater archaeological investigation in Poyang Lake next month, China's first such project in inland waters.
"This time, we will go into China's largest fresh-water lake to study its repository of underwater sites and artifacts," said Fan Changsheng, director of Jiangxi Provincial Institute of Archeology.
Archaeologists will start by identifying submerged indigenous sites, waterlogged ancient battlefields, and shipwrecks at "Laoyemiao" , a mysterious and dangerous area in Poyang Lake, according to Fan.
World-class equipment, including advanced sonar sound machines and sand pumps, will be used for the mission, said Fan.
The development of China's underwater archaeology began in the late 1980s when China start salvaging its ancient shipwrecks. While a new field of exploration, it has seen rapid development in recent years.
"China has previously conducted several maritime archaeological projects in its coastal regions, but this will be the first time it will take place in the country's fresh waters," said Fan.
Along with Laoyemiao, the Anhui sections of the Yangtze and Huaihe rivers have been selected as the second coveted spot for such underwater archaeological studies.
Laoyemiao, a narrow water channel linking Poyang Lake and the Yangtze River, was chosen for its historical and archeological significance.According to Fan, ancient vessels carrying famous Jingdezhen-made porcelain ware had to pass this gateway before heading out to destinations outside China.
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