File photo shows part of the ancient water conservancy facilities dating back to the Wei and Jin dynasties (220-420) discovered in Luoyang, central China's Henan Province. (Institute of Archaeology under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences/Handout via Xinhua)
The ancient capital Luoyang site in today's Henan Province has recently discovered over 80 meters of water channels dating back to the Wei and Jin dynasties (220-420). It indicates the mature techniques of building water conservancy facilities and the dynasties' capability of water resource utilization and environmental upgrade back then.
The excavation on the Qianqiu Gate site of the ancient palace started in 2021, and the researchers later found the large-scale underground water channels beneath the gate site's square.
So far, four water channels have been discovered, all stone culverts running side by side from southwest to northeast. The channels were confirmed to be built together and follow a unified construction planning, said Guo Xiaotao with the Institute of Archaeology under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Such water conservancy facilities with large-scale layouts and delicate designs are the first to be spotted during the excavation work on the Luoyang ancient city.
The manhole covers above the channels also have square holes to facilitate rainwater collection. The water channel ruins are believed to have introduced water sources outside into the palace city and then allowed the water to flow into lakes of the Xiyou Garden in the north of the imperial palace.
The facilities were likely part of the garden's water diversion project inside the ancient capital city's palace and later reused by Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534), said Liu Tao with the institute.
The discovery further explores the royal garden layout of Luoyang at that time and serves as a historical reference for modern urban water resource utilization, Liu added.
Luoyang city site, located in today's Luoyang in Henan, has a history of over 1,500 years, while for about 600 years in its vast history, it served as the capital city for many dynasties in ancient China.