Ancient Monuments Discovered Beneath Golden Week Tourists
BEIJING — The Ministry of Culture announced Monday that at least a dozen spectacular ancient monuments have been discovered during Golden Week, after having lain buried for decades beneath a sizable chunk of the national population.
The first such discovery, a section of the Great Wall located near Shijiazhuang, was found in an area only previously known for its teeming hordes of camera-wielding Chinese tourists. The existence of ancient fortifications beneath the waves of rowdy travelers had previously been dismissed by archeologists as a local legend.
After a section of solid human cliff collapsed early Friday morning, revealing unmistakably man-made crenellations and a defensive tower, officials quickly sealed off the area and began the lengthy process of excavating the ruins. Bulldozers were called in to remove unwanted sightseers from the site, while dynamite was used to blast a particularly tenacious group of Hunanese aunties from the north face of a parapet.
Once cultural officials confirmed their discovery, the State Council authorized the nationwide excavation of all previously unexplored undulating wedges of humanity close to well-known historic sites.
An entire wing of the Forbidden City emerged after mechanical excavators demolished a mass of out-of-town schoolchildren near the west gate of Zhongnanhai; the entrance to the tomb of Qinshihuang was revealed after some twelve million tourists were sand-blasted from the south face of the First Emperor’s burial mound; and the Ancient Summer Palace in Nanjing, once thought destroyed, was found to have been buried beneath several thick layers of tourist sometime in the late 19th century.
While the newly discovered relics were generally in poor condition due to the accumulation of decades of discarded soda bottles, instant noodle cups and fruit peels, officials believe that, contrary to popular belief, China’s greatest architectural marvels were not destroyed by the Allied Powers during the Opium Wars.
In Shijiazhuang, a spokesman for the Ministry of Culture attempted to give a statement at the rediscovered site, but his voice was drowned out by a swarm of tourists.