ZHENJIANG, Jiangsu, June 29 (Xinhua) -- Four gigantic stones recently salvaged from the bottom of the Yangtze River near Jiaoshan Mountain in Zhenjiang City in east China's Jiangsu Province, may be the remnants of an inscription more than 1,000 years old.
Three of the stones - weighing 60 tonnes, 10 tonnes and 450 tonnes - were pulled from the deep water, while another stone which broke during its salvage was successfully recovered later, Wang Youjun, an engineer in the salvage program, told Xinhua Tuesday.
The broken stones have been pulled up to the river bank, said Wang, but work remains to be done by archeologists and experts to check the stones for ancient carvings of Chinese characters.
The Yiheming Inscription that dates back to 514 A.D. was a dedication by an ancient Chinese calligrapher to a dead crane he raised. The Inscription was carved into a cliff overlooking the Yangtze River in Zhenjiang.
Historically, masters have left their calligraphy on the Inscription. But due to lightning strikes and landslides, the epitaphs have fallen into the river, according to the online encyclopedia of China's biggest search engine, Baidu.
Salvage work for the Inscription begun as early as the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). More than 10 stone remnants were recovered during the Southern Song Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and more than 200 Chinese characters were recognized.