Unidentified Ancient City Found in Chongqing

November 6, 2007 12:00 am Last Updated: November 6, 2007 12:00 am

According to Chongqing Evening News, a mysterious ancient city sits atop a mountain in the Shilongman Community of Shijia Village in Bei'e District. Built along the mountain, this city looks ominous and steep, covering a 10-acre area. There is no record of the existence of this city, and even local heritage experts were not aware of its existence.

The city is comprised of inner and outer areas. The outer city walls, made mostly of windblown clay and stones, are about two meters high and were built along the mountain ridge surrounding nine hills. The inner city occupies about 10 acres of land and can only be accessed by three narrow roads.

Originally the inner city was accessed through eastern, western, and northern gates. Two of the gates have crumbled; the remaining gate is a well-preserved stone archway. Carved above the gate are the words, “Established in Emperor Guangxu year of 24 (1898 A.D.).” The inner city walls were magnificent and also made of stones. The highest point was about five meters tall and one meter wide. Some portions have either collapsed or have been destroyed. Inside the city, there are no houses, pavilions, or gardens. However, towering trees, foundations of buildings, observation posts, and reservoirs were there making it look more like a military outpost than a residential setting.

The 57-year-old villager Xiong Zhongyuan mentioned this city has been like this for as long as he can remember. No one knows its origin, not even the most elderly person in the village.

It is said that many years ago, several local teenagers explored the city out of curiosity. They went down the steep cliff through the north side and found a piece of a boulder with mysterious characters as big as an adult's fist inscribed on it. They did not recognize or understand the characters; however, they believe it may have stated the city's origin.

In order to find the mysterious text, Chongqing Municipality Mountaineering Association coach Li Saishuang and Wen Shichao went down the cliff. Because this precipice stretches several kilometers and the exact location where the local teenagers had found the boulder was not known, Li and Wen searched for five to six hours but were not able to find the inscribed rock.

According to Zhu Feifan, who has worked at the Cultural Heritage Division, Press and Publications Bureau of Bei'e District Culture for over 20 years, he has never heard of this city and there is no record of it in the Bei'e historical records.

The fact that there are no records of such a large habitation is puzzling to the experts; the true identity of this city is yet to be determined.