Archaeologists have discovered in Sha Anxi province more than 200 ancient fortresses in Zhen’an County, deep in the mountains Qinling during the recent national study of cultural relics.
According to Li Guang, head of the county cultural relics management institute, the fortresses are located scattered on mountain tops or in hidden places. While small fortresses could only accommodate a few people, more than four places could each contain between 400 and 500 people.
- More than 200 fortresses found in Chinese mountains
It is the first time there are such a large number of ancient fortresses in the province, says Li.
According to local data, most were built late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and at the beginning of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) for protect the rich of the farmers' revolts.
“Local celebrities and wealthy people led the construction of the fortresses, which had the mountains as a base and stone in their walls”Says Li. "The forts were easy to protect because three sides of the forts had steep slopes, while one connected to the top of the mountain.”.
Zhen’an was the most used mountain pass of what is now Sichuan Province and Chongqing Municipality to the south and Hubei Province to the east. Due to the dangerous terrain, fortresses were important to protect wealthy families.
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