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Fuxian Lake's Secret

Fuxian Lake stretches out through Chengjiang County, Jiangchuan County, and Huaning County in Yunnan Province, about 60 kilometers to Kunming City, spanning an area of 212 square kilometers. The lake is ranked third largest in Yunnan, right after Dianchi Lake and Erhai Lake. Also, it is the deepest lake in Yunnan which is 155 meters deep at the greatest depth.



Geng Wei, a specialized diver, found a strange phenomenon under the lake. He discovered many stone materials, including flagstones and stone strips with thick moss above them, could be seen. Geng Wei believed the stones might be from a remote time. However, why were they underwater? Where did they come from? With these questions, Geng remembers a mystical legend about the lake. Local people often said residents could see a city-like silhouette under the lake from the nearby mountains on a fine, calm day.



Was it the ancient city mentioned in the legend? In order to explore this riddle, Geng dove into the waters some 38 times to carry on surveys. He finally wrote a report to notify related official departments and experts in Yunnan Province of his findings. To unveil the mystery, a Chinese submarine archaeology team stationed in Fuxian Lake also became involved. Members had discovered lots of blocks scattered on the lake bottom. With the advanced use of detectors, they saw stones that formed a wall seen on a sonar display along with various flagstones. High stairs appeared in front of them. Flagstones covered with moss seemed to reveal an ancient sunken city.



The team members found the scope of the site under Fuxian Lake was extremely big, and the traces of construction were everywhere. After several days of observation and analyses, experts estimated the scope of the area is between 2.4 square kilometers to 2.7 square kilometers. Some experts speculate the site might be the ancient city of Yuyuan, which disappeared mysteriously many hundreds of years ago. Han Shu (a classic Chinese historical writing covering the history of the Western Han Dynasty, 206 BCE-9 CE), once recorded that Yuyuan City was north of Fuxian Lake. To determine this point, the researchers first tried to determine whether the site's age was tallied with history. They needed to find items that correlated with human life. After a half-month survey, earthenware was spotted by inspection team members.



After failing many times, team members finally found some shells attached to blocks. Through a test for carbon 14, an accurate time was the discovered-the item was 1750 years old. This result proved the site was sunk during the Han period. However, in the Tang Dynasty, there were still records about Yuyuan City remaining on land. Therefore, the lost city is not Yuyuan. Some experts believe that the structure of the under-lake construction is extremely similar to the construction styles of the ancient Dian Country, a country with a high level of civilization. After BC 86, it mysteriously disappeared. But other experts are suspicious, saying it is too early to make this conclusion because archaeology is a long and complex process. Solving the riddle of the old city requires longer-term archaeological excavation and careful research.


Reference: China Daily

Photo Resource: Internet

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