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The Lost City of Sizhou

Chinese archaeologists have announced that their excavation of the lost, ancient city of Sizhou, has been completed. The 2,000 square meter ruins, sprawl out over Xuyi county, in China’s Siangsu province, near the modern city of Huaian.

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This site, now a mere shadow of its former self, once held a beautiful and grand Chinese city, sitting at the intersections of the Yangtze River, the Yellow River and the Huaihe River. The ancient urban site is believed to have been swallowed by the three rivers, over 300 years ago, during a torrential deluge. Historical records that spoke of the city during the catastrophe claim that before the residents’ homes were destroyed, they banded together, piling layers of earth around the city, in a vain attempt to rescue their beloved homes. After its demise, it was only spoken of in fairy tales and fables, researchers and great minds labeled the lost city, ‘the Pompeii of the Orient’ as it silently slumbered, buried beneath the sediment of the rivers.

Researchers claim that the sediment, that devoured the city of Sizhou, actually preserved it for future generations, stating that the site is a condition, far more superior to that of Pompeii’s.

As the decades passed in the memories of the city began to fade, urban life in the region began to come alive, once again. Decades flew by uncontrollably, like papers in the wind, as residences and agriculture sprang up from the ground surrounding the forgotten ruins. As the modern city of Huaian began to form in its most sophomoric state, none of its population knew of the secrets being kept by the silent earth beneath their feet.

No one knew of the historical treasure that was captured by the rivers and hidden beneath them, until almost 30 years ago when farmers in the region began to unearth strange artifacts, square stones, tiles, and carved stones. Although, this left many farmers puzzled, and aware that something once thrived beneath them, their claims were ignored. Then, approximately  25 years ago, when the Chinese government commissioned a large road bridge to be constructed on the site, daylight spilled once again over the ruins of Sizhou, after large construction vehicles gnawed at the land.

In the late months of 2011, researchers from Nanjing Museum and Huai’an Museum, located the ramshackle and derelict city. This sprawling ancient city was noted to cover almost 3 square kilometers of the countryside, with a portion of it still remains submerged beneath the depths of the mighty Huaihe River’s sediment.

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