Taiyuan, May 14 (BNA): A stele more than 1,000 years old was discovered in northern China’s Shanxi Province, according to local authorities.
The stele was found in Xingtangsi Village in Hongtong County when villagers were clearing the land north of the temple ruins.
It was later discovered by cultural relics experts that it was built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) during the reign of Emperor Wenzong, which witnessed the rise and fall of the neighboring Chongqin Temple, according to Xinhua News Agency.
Built in 594, Zhongzhen Temple served as a place of worship in the following centuries. Many ancient plaques were left to record renovations, worship and other activities.
So far this stele is the only one confirmed to have been left from the Tang Dynasty in the county. The stele gives an account of Emperor Wenzong’s order at that time to rebuild the ancestral hall within the temple complex.
The order is carved on a slab of black granite, now damaged above and below, but with both sides completely intact. The remaining 175 characters inscribed on the stele are from an article on reconstruction written in 837, which can also be found in the Record of the Province compiled in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the Historical Books in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
Xie Tanzhi, from the local cultural relics management office in Hongtong County, said that the stele carries a lot of historical information, including that the emperor sent officials to worship at Chongqin Temple.