Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Newly Discovered Archaeological Sites in the area of the Hushan Dam

Pursuant to the requests from commissioners on the Environmental Impact Assessment Commission of Taiwan’s EPA, the developer’s contractors have discovered three sites that potentially will be listed as cultural heritage sites under the Cultural Preservation Law and in accordance with the law all construction should cease immediately to be resumed only after the situation is clarified and all measures necessary to preserve the sites have been implemented in accordance with the law.

The three sites include Neolithic artifacts going back as far as 3500 years as well as some historical finds dated to the 19th century. Pot shards, stone adzes and other implements are among the rich and varied discoveries and indicate that there is much more to be found throughout the area.

Upon receiving news of the discoveries, several concerned NGOs immediately notified the local and central authorities requesting that swift action be taken including halting the construction. The requests appear to have been ignored, not surprising given the purported importance of the reservoir construction to local interests in Yunlin County and elsewhere. There has also been concern that the archaeological surveys were overly conservative with regards to the potential for more discoveries in the area leading to speculation that the professionals involved with the survey have been kept on a “short leash” through implicit threats to cut research funding should they make too much of the finds. With so little truly independent research taking place in Taiwan, such speculation may not be too far off the mark.

Also see:
Hushan Update
Hushan Archaeological Sites Update

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