Ancient relics damaged during rail construction

03 September 2008

Ancient Chinese bones and pottery dating back more than 3000 years have been severely damaged during construction a section of rail linking Beijing and Shanghai, according to local press reports.

The un-named contractor responsible for the damage now faces a fine of up to US$ 73000 for ignoring warnings the site contained ancient treasures, said the reports.

Nearly 2000 m2 of the site has been damaged. Work has stopped on the section of the railway in the eastern city of Nanjing.

Nanjing's Cultural Heritage Bureau was reported as saying the relics must be excavated before construction continues.

The bones and pottery, which date back to the Shang Dynasty and the Zhou Dynasty, were discovered in October.

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