Ancient Buddhist statues unearthed in Henan

Xinhuanet, March 8, 2006

ZHENGZHOU, China -- Chinese archaeologists have unearthed more than 10 Buddhist statues dating back to the Tang and Song dynasties (618 to 1279) in central China's Henan Province, a provincial official said on Wednesday.

The 13 Buddhist statues were spotted together with porcelain chips and building materials at the Ciyuan Temple in Anyang, a city 170 kilometers north of the provincial capital Zhengzhou, said Du Qiming, director of the Henan Ancient Architecture Preservation Research Institute.

The statues, made of stone or white marble, have traditional Chinese carving styles. Ten are damaged but there are three others almost intact.

The Ciyuan Temple, built in the early Tang Dynasty, is considered prized cultural heritage. It displays ancient China's architectural and religious development.

To make way for highway construction, the temple had to be relocated for protection.