Archaeological dig on Yuanmingyuan Park ruins reveals the past

By CGTN's Song Yaotian

The Old Summer Palace, or Yuanmingyuan Park, located in the north of Beijing, was where the Qing Dynasty emperors handled state affairs during the hot summer months. The complex, which was destroyed by Anglo-French forces in 1860, is now undergoing its largest archaeological excavation to date.
The operation started in 2013, and is scheduled to run until 2020. Ru Yuan garden, which was built during Qianlong's reign in the latter half of the 18th century, is the best preserved garden ruin inside the complex. 
One of the most recent discoveries to be found at the site is a stone tablet with an inscription written by Emperor Jiaqing. Archaeologists found the tablet by chance amid a pile of rubble, and it's so huge that it can't be easily moved. 
Yuanmingyuan Park /VCG Photo

Yuanmingyuan Park /VCG Photo

Archaeologists have also uncovered wide terraces around what was once the main hall of the palace. These would have allowed emperors to arrive by boat, step onto the terraces, and walk into the hall. 
Other discoveries, such as cloud-shaped stones, and a path encircling a rockery have shed light on the influences of architectural styles from southern China on Ru Yuan garden. As excavation work continues on Yuanmingyuan, more surprising discoveries will surely be uncovered.