Can only choose between urban construction and development and cultural relic protection?

  During the Spring Festival holiday that ended not long ago, many people responded to the call to celebrate the New Year on the spot, but the "place" where a group of people "stayed" was a bit special. It was an airport construction site, but it was an archaeological site-in order to protect Xi'an Xianyang International Airport. The third phase of the expansion project went on smoothly, and the archaeologists gave up their vacations and worked overtime at the construction site to spend the entire Spring Festival holiday.

  "Archaeologists' Spring Festival" has aroused heated discussions among netizens, but urban construction sites have repeatedly changed archaeological sites, which is not uncommon in ancient capitals with a long history.

Many netizens ridiculed, "Xi'an is engaged in urban construction, the most busy is the Cultural Relics Bureau."

  When five thousand years of civilization infiltrated the land of China, dynasties changed, and thousands of people flowed, countless historical traces fell into the dust.

Above the surface, as urban construction progresses towards modernization, whether the cultural relics buried underground are dusted, rejuvenated or destroyed and sealed in darkness. How to balance urban construction and cultural relic protection has become a proposition for modern humans.

Is it wealth or burden?

  The ancient capital of the thirteen dynasties, Xi’an, is famous for its cultural relics and historical sites. Only the four ancient capitals of Zhou, Qin, Han and Tang covers an area of ​​more than 100 square kilometers. The cultural relics such as the tombs of emperors and the tombs of famous officials are countless. The historical accumulation of China has become a valuable civilization wealth of China and the world.

  However, for a long time, heavy wealth has become a heavy burden for urban development.

Historical changes have caused most ancient civil constructions to be hidden underground, resulting in a high degree of overlap between the urban built-up areas of Xi’an and the relic areas, especially the Chang’an city ruins in the Sui and Tang Dynasties almost completely overlap with the modern Xi’an urban areas.

The ruins of Hanyuan Hall in Daming Palace of Tang Dynasty (photographed in 2014).

Photo by Xing Chong

  Below the surface is a cultural relic site that has been sleeping for thousands of years; above the site is the endless human life.

The Han Chang’an City and Tang Daming Palace relic areas were once surrounded by urban villages and shanty towns for a long time. There are more than 100 villages and a population of 500,000. Due to cultural relics protection, the relic area restricts industrial development, which also led to the slow development of these areas .

  For Luoyang, the changes of the times have also carved a lot of marks in this city.

More than a dozen dynasties, including Western Zhou, Eastern Zhou, Sui, Tang, etc., have set their capitals and capitals in Luoyang for a long period of time. Due to the long-term political and economic center status, population, tomb customs and other factors, a considerable amount of Luoyang remains underground. A large number of cultural relics and historical heritage.

On the one hand, these heritages have become historical witnesses. On the other hand, how to protect these underground heritages has become an inevitable proposition in the development of modern cities.

  Cultural relics have a profound impact on urban planning.

With the acceleration of urban modernization, the contradiction between cultural relic protection and it has become prominent.

Zhang Jianlin, a researcher at the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology who has long been committed to the protection of the Chang'an city site in the Sui and Tang Dynasties, believes that with several city expansions, especially the rapid expansion of Xi'an in the past 30 years, the Tang Chang'an city site is gradually disappearing.

  On the other hand, the protection of cultural relics has also delayed the pace of urban construction to a certain extent.

Taking the construction of modern signs for transportation as an example, the repeated expansion of Xi’an Xianyang International Airport has unearthed historical relics. The third-phase expansion site started in July last year and discovered more than 4,600 ancient cultural relics of various types, including more than 3,500 ancient tombs in various periods. The scale of the ruins is huge.

  The subway has become a "large-scale archaeological excavation site": Xi'an's first subway line 2 took five years to complete, during which more than 130 ancient tombs were excavated, and more than 200 cultural relics were unearthed; currently the only loop line line 8 in the network planning Since archaeology started in April last year, 1,574 ancient remains of various types have been discovered through exploration, including 1,356 ancient tombs and 4 ancient kilns.

Archaeologists in Luoyang clean up the monuments on site.

Provided by Luoyang Archaeological Research Institute

  The urban construction of Luoyang faces the same problem. The first batch of subways began to be built in 2016, and it is expected to be officially opened in the first half of this year.

Liu Bin, a researcher at the Luoyang Institute of Archaeology, said that after detecting cultural relics, it usually takes six months to one year for archaeological excavations.

"Construction and construction units that don't understand the actual situation can easily conflict with the archaeological team, thinking that archaeology delays the construction period and increases construction investment."

How to solve the contradiction?

  Archaeologists call for the protection of cultural relics and urban construction to not simply be categorized as a collision of dualistic contradictions. In the new historical period, how to form a positive interaction between cultural relics protection and urban development is the most critical issue.

  Known as the Palace of Thousand Palaces, Daming Palace was the political center of the Tang Empire and the largest palace complex in the world at that time. It covers an area of ​​3.2 square kilometers, which is 4.5 times that of the Forbidden City in Beijing during the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

In 2007, the Xi'an Municipal Government moved out all 100,000 residents from the Daming Palace site area, building a national heritage park and opening it to the outside world, becoming a model for the protection of the Great Oriental Site.

Danfeng Gate was once known as the "First Gate in the World". This is the restored Danfeng Gate of the Daming Palace Ruins Park in the Tang Dynasty (photographed in 2014).

Photo by Xing Chong

  In 2014, the site of the Weiyang Palace in Chang'an City of the Han Dynasty was successfully applied for the legacy. The main palace of the Western Han Empire, which was called "not magnificent and majestic" by the builder Xiao He, is nearly 2 square kilometers larger than the Daming Palace of the Tang Dynasty. The entire Han Chang'an City The site area is as much as 36 square kilometers, and there are many villages and enterprises involved, and it is obviously unrealistic to relocate all of them.

  Some archaeological experts such as Xu Weimin, a professor at the School of Cultural Heritage of Northwest University, pointed out that in addition to the relocation of the core area of ​​the site, the indigenous people in the rest of the area can fully coexist and prosper with the site.

“The area of ​​the Han Chang’an city site has left many intangible cultures in the millennium historical evolution. The total demolition is not only costly, but in the long run it will also lead to the disappearance of intangible cultural heritage.” Xu Weimin said.

  The funds involved in the protection of cultural relics, especially large sites, are often beyond the capabilities of local governments.

Experts believe that in addition to the central government's special financial appropriations, special lottery tickets can also be issued for special purposes to mobilize the enthusiasm of the whole society for cultural relic protection.

The Weiyang Palace of the Western Han Dynasty, now located in the northwest of Xi'an.

Provided by Zhang Jianlin

  Regarding the protection of cultural relics in municipal engineering construction, in recent years, with governments at all levels attaching importance to the protection of cultural relics, pre-archaeology has become a way to resolve contradictions: when local governments reserve land, they need to comply with the law for land that may have cultural relics. Complete archaeological investigation, exploration, excavation, and then hand over the land to the construction unit for legal construction and operation.

  "This is equivalent to setting an'advance amount' for urban planning and construction, and archaeological excavations are carried out one or two years in advance." Zhang Jianlin said that archaeology cannot stop urban development and construction. It is necessary to give time to archaeology in advance, rather than at the same time as construction. Then carry out rescue protection.

  However, pre-archaeology is sometimes not a perfect solution to contradictions.

Liu Bin said that economically developed regions have the financial resources to support archaeological advances, but relatively less developed regions can only transfer land first and then allocate funds to support archaeological research.

"Whether it is perfect or partial is still a problem facing archaeological research in some areas."

Archaeologists carry out archaeological surveying and mapping. Picture provided by Luoyang Archaeological Research Institute

  Whether it is the in-situ protection of large sites or the pre-archaeology of municipal construction, it is undeniable that the promotion of urban history and the introduction of regional cultural business cards have increasingly become the demands of local governments.

Xu Weimin believes that cultural heritage can become a city's soft power strength. As the people's pursuit of spiritual life improves, soft power can become the engine of the city's future development.

  In recent years, Xi’an has stepped up its efforts to protect the Chang’an city site in the Sui and Tang Dynasties, and initiated the preparation of related cultural relics protection plans, which is expected to restrict urban construction and development projects from the law; Luoyang has stepped up efforts to promote the protection of major urban sites and build the Luoyang city site in the Sui and Tang Dynasties. Parks, and built small museums in many burial sites.

  Wu Yeheng, director of the Sui and Tang Dynasties Research Office of the Luoyang Archaeological Research Institute, said that the construction of the Luoyang City Archaeological Site Park in the Sui and Tang Dynasties can protect the underground ruins and avoid excessive and disorderly development.

  Wu Yeheng believes that there is no need to worry about whether the vegetation in the park will affect the site itself.

"The distance between the site and the surface is generally about 1 to 1.5 meters. The water system may cause some local impacts, but from the perspective of overall protection, compared with disorderly development, the impacts are locally controllable and slight."

  On the new historical coordinates, urban construction and cultural relic protection are no longer a fierce conflict and conflict, but an evolution towards a harmonious dialogue and interaction.

Today's people use wisdom to answer the proposition of the integration of history and the times, and cultural relics will also evolve into a proof of identity for modern cities.

  Author: Chong Xing Hao Lingyu