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Waking up thousand-year asleep memories under Qiandao Lake

04-26-2012 08:50 BJT Special Report:Explore Thousand-year City under Qiandao Lake |

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There is a thousand-year old ancient city sleeping under Qiandao Lake. In 1959, lion city slipped from view under the rising waters of the Xi'an jingo reservoir. But Now the Chun'an county government has organized an expedition to explore the now-sunken city.

The ancient city can be found occupying nearly half a square kilometer 30 meters below the surface of Qiandao Lake.

Waking up thousand-year asleep memories under Qiandao Lake: sunken lion city.

Broadcasting at that depth is no simple task. The camera crew had to go for special training at a Qingdao naval school. They are trying to tackle an unprecedented challenge after all.

Kang Rui, Director of Underwater Broadcasting Team, said, "This will probably be a record challenge for underwater broadcasting. As far as I know the deepest live broadcast took place 29 meters below water. The old city under Qiandao Lake is at least 30 meters below the surface, with a maximum depth of over 40 meters. So you can imagine the pressure for us. Another challenge is in the cold water. The temperature only reaches 8 degrees Celsius at the bottom of Qiandao Lake."

Waking up thousand-year asleep memories under Qiandao Lake: sunken lion city.

It's no surprise that they're being careful to plan for the unexpected.

Yang Huamin, Political Commissar of Qingdao Naval Sumarine Institute, said, "Potential snags include nets dropped by fishermen and broken walls from underwater houses among others. These could pose a great challenge for underwater broadcasting. But we are confident that we are fully prepared."

Planning for the expedition has been underway for ten years. In 2002, Chun'an County invited experts from the State Marine Institute to compile a sonar map of the underwater city. Last year the local government set up an ancient city museum based on the map. And this time, everyone is anticipating even more.

Restored map of lion city.

Waking up thousand-year asleep memories under Qiandao Lake: sunken lion city.

CCTV travels underwater to ancient city

Known as the lion city, this ancient site lies underwater in Qiandao Lake in Zhejiang province. Founded thousands of years ago, the city was flooded in the 1950s to make way for the construction of a hydro plant. Now CCTV is about to follow a team of divers on a mission to explore and uncover the city. Full Story>>


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