Global Network of National Geoparks

Summer Exploration in Longhushan Geopark

Source : source: Longhushan Geopark Published :August 4, 2008

----First ten undergraduates’ successful entry into a thousand-year-old cave of cliff grave is vitally significant to understanding of how an overhanging coffin is moved into a cave in Longhushan, in an expert’s view

Pic.1: Exploration scene---- No.2 cave in Xianshuiyan Scenic Spot

The first 10 undergraduate participants in exploring the cliff grave in Longhushan from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, East China Jiaotong University and Jiangxi Normal University succeeded in entering the No.8 cave of cliff grave in Xianshuiyan (meaning Celestial Water Rock), which had been unknown for one thousand years, by means of a wooden winch on July 15. Following that, these 10 students had an in-situ archaeological study and exploration on this grave under the instruction of Prof. Liu Shizhong who was an archaeologist and the deputy director of Jiangxi Provincial Museum.

Pic.2 : An explorer is entering the cave

In order to uncover various puzzles of cliff graves in Longhushan and provide young students with an arena of showing their own knowledge and courage, an undergraduate exploration activity was organized in Longhushan during this summer holiday. It was planned that 100 undergraduates would be sent to cliff graves in Longhushan by batches for the in-situ archaeological study. This activity had found a strong echo in nationwide students’ hearts since its was launched. Up to now, more than 3000 students from over 100 colleges/universities throughout the country were enthusiastic about application. In the morning of July 15, 10 students were selected for a trial of cave entry after all were ready. In the exploration scene, the correspondent noticed that this cave of cliff grave was in the precipice, Zhexiufeng (meaning Shame Hiding Peak), Xianshuiyan, 107 meters below the top of the Peak, 32 meters above the water surface, difficult of access. 4 large wooden boats and 1 double-layer raft made up of 80 pieces of Mao bamboo were used while over 20 staff members executed different tasks and closely cooperated each other. 10 undergraduates entered the No.8 cave through hoisting with a wooden winch after watching four brothers surnamed “Li” demonstrated how to lift a coffin in person under the command of Prof. Liu Shizhong, a famous archeologist of Jiangxi Province who participated in scientific exploration on cliff graves in Longhushan twice. The whole entry process proceeded orderly and smoothly. Three sets of camcorders from the channel of CCTV, Travel around China, recorded this process synchronously.

Pic.3 The first student explorers

The archeologist, Prof. Liu Shizhong, told the correspondent that nonprofessionals’ successful entry into the cliff cave by means of an antique wooden winch was vitally significant to understanding of how an overhanging coffin was moved into a cave in Longhushan.