600-Year-Old Buddha Emerges From The Lake In China

A 600-year-old Buddha statue has emerged from the lake Zuixian (aka Hongmen Reservoir) when 30 feet (10 m) of water was drained because of the nearby hydropower gate renovation.

Archeologists think that this 12.5 feet (3.8 meters) tall statue could date back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), which stunned spectators of just how well it’s preserved. The scientists think that the underwater period since 1958, when the reservoir was built, might have helped shelter the statue from other elements as well.

Receding water levels of China's Yangtze reveal ancient Buddhist statues | Reuters

The statue was originally built in the ancient town of Xiaoshi, and is thought to to be a spiritual protector from the two rivers, clashing in the area.

To those, surprised how such thing could have gone underwater, the recent history of China holds the answer. The statue was submerged in 1960 when the Hongmen reservoir was built, and back then the local authorities simply weren’t aware of heritage protection, explained Xu Changqing, director of the Research Institute of Archaeology of Jiangxi province.

Yet there still are those, who remember the statue before the flooding. Like Huang Keping, a 82-year-old local blacksmith, who saw the Buddha first time in 1952: “I remember the statue was gilded at that time,” he told Xinhua.

A 600-year-old Buddha statue has emerged from the Hongmen Reservoir when 30 feet (10 m) of water was drained because of the nearby hydropower gate renovation

Archeologists think that this 12.5 feet (3.8 meters) tall statue could date back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)

It’s extremely well-preserved. The scientists think that the underwater period since 1958, when the reservoir was built, might have helped shelter the statue from other elements

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The statue was submerged in 1960 when the Hongmen reservoir was built, and back then the local authorities simply weren’t aware of heritage protection

And there still are those, who remember the statue before that. Like Huang Keping, a 82-year-old local blacksmith, who saw the Buddha first time in 1952: “I remember the statue was gilded at that time”