2,000-year-old tomb site under threat of termites
The 2,000-year-old Mawangdui tombs in Changsha, central China's Hunan
Province, have become infested with termites.
The tombs, dated to the Western
Han Dynasty (206 B.C.- 24 A.D.), were excavated in 1972. More than 3,000 burial
objects of silk writings, bamboo slips, lacquer ware, pottery, Chinese herbal
medicine, as well as a well-preserved woman's corpse were found.
on the hills above of the relics site have been killed by termites, and the
white ants have also been found on the trees at the foot of the hills.
local resident said termites first appeared in the region about 20 years ago,
and have been growing fast in recent years. Insecticide has been used at a small
scale, but the ants were not eliminated.
An official from the Hunan cultural
heritage protection department said the ancient tombs are located in humid
forests on hills, which is an favorable environment for termites.
strengthened control measures, the tombs are not in danger at present, said the
Experts from the Changsha Termite Prevention and Control Center and
the Hunan Provincial Cultural Heritage Bureau have raced to the site to
investigate the situation.