Chengdu (Chine): Eight-ton, 2,000-year-old animal statue discovered
Archaeologists baffled by eight-ton, 2,000-year-old animal statue discovered at excavation site in heart of panda territory
A giant stone animal has been found at an excavation site in Chengdu, southwestern China, baffling archaeologists as to what it may be.
The mysterious rock beast was unearthed in the capital of Sichuan province today and is thought to be 2,000 years old.
The stone animal weighed in at 8.5 tons and at 10ft 10in long, 3ft 11in wide and 5ft 7in tall.
Discovery: The statue could be depicting a panda, as the excavation is in one of only three Chinese territories where the animals roamed wild
The animal has not been identified but it is possible that it depicts a giant panda as Sichuan is one of only three provinces in China which are included in the giant panda’s natural habitat.
Archaeologists working on the site also unearthed a large number of other artifacts, leading to the conclusion that the beast may have been part of a temple in the early days of Chengdu.
Chengdu has been the capital of the province since around the time the statue would have been created and is the only city in China to have remained in the same location under the same name for such a long time.
It has been at the core of the province for at least 4,000 years and has worked both as a religious and trade hub for the people in the area since.
Ancient grounds: The area of Chengdu where the animal and the other artifacts were dug up have been a gathering place for the people of the province for thousands of years
Unveiling the past: Archeologists in Chengdu take samples from the 10ft10in long and 5ft7in tall stone beast
New discovery: Archeologists working on the site also unearthed a large number of other artifacts which alongside the beast may have served a ceremonial purpose in ancient Chengdu
Old city: The artifacts date back to around the time the city of Chengdu got its name, two centuries ago