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The Su-Hua highway improvement project turning out to be an archaeological expedition

Moderator: hansioux

The Su-Hua highway improvement project turning out to be an archaeological expedition

Postby hansioux » 24 Jul 2015, 11:26

http://udn.com/news/story/8404/1074180- ... B%E8%99%95

http://www.new0.net/%E8%98%87%E8%8A%B1% ... 98393.html

http://www.cet-taiwan.org/node/1705
Many awesome pictures

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The highly controversial "Su-Hua highway improvement project" cuts through some of the most untouched areas of Taiwan. The project was proposed right after the 1999 921 Earthquake. Since then it's environmental impact has been challenged repeatedly. However, after a 2010 Tour bus accident on the original Su-hua Highway, It's environmental impact review process is passed within 14 days. Needless to say the review is completely shoddy.

That aside, construction has been going on for a couple of years. Since 2012, numerous archaeological sites were discovered during construction. These discoveries have delayed construction, but its significance far out-weighs the road itself.

The first discovery at Hanben (漢本), Yilan, belongs to a strata deposited at least 1000 years ago. More than 100 burial sites have been discovered in 2 distinct stratas, plus many artifacts of daily life, such as bronze ware, iron-age tools and agate jewelries. The discovery is surprising because the site is located on a side of a hill. Archaeologists typically expects such findings in valleys instead of hillsides.

Lead archeologist Liu Chang-yi (劉益昌) believes the inhabitants, most likely Basai or Ketagalan, were capable sailors and migrated to the area by sea instead of land. He also pointed out such discoveries shouldn't have been a surprise. The fact that it is can be attributed to the failure of the rushed environmental impact review.

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The more ancient second strata so far yields 2 large stone tablets erected by man, surrounded by many smaller vertically set stone tablets, similar to those found in Hualian and Taidong. Other artifacts include pottery, stone tools, bone tools and decorations, and animal figures made of pottery and stone. These artifacts are believed to be from at least 3000 years ago, and are buried 6 to 8 meters deep.
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Re: The Su-Hua highway improvement project turning out to be an archaeological expedition

Postby hansioux » 06 Aug 2015, 13:58

Update on the Hanben archaeology site (Su-hua improvement project construction site).

http://news.ltn.com.tw/news/local/paper/903601
https://anntw.com/articles/20150803-8u3i

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In the 2nd archaeological layer, the one dating 2000 to 3000 years ago, archaeologists found evidence of maritime trade between the inhabitants of the Hanben site, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.

At least 500 people lived at Hanben at its height. Archeologists found pottery, bronze-ware and ironware in the 2nd layer. The technique is consistent with methods used in Southeast Asia around the same time, and they were producing iron and bronze at Hanben. The people at Hanben probably travelled to Southeast Asia, and traded jade and gold for glass beads, agate beads and metal making technology. That would be consistent with previous findings of Taiwanese jade artifacts in Southeast Asia from 5000 to 2000 years ago.

Like other Austronesian cultures in Taiwan, people at Hanben buried their loved ones under the floor of their houses. A coffin would be repeatedly used to bury newly deceased family members. Archeologists found as many as 7 bodies in one of the stone coffins.
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Re: The Su-Hua highway improvement project turning out to be an archaeological expedition

Postby Mucha Man » 06 Aug 2015, 15:17

I've barely had to time to look at this but thanks for posting and updating.
“Everywhere else in the world is also really old” said Prof. Liu, a renowned historian at Beijing University. “We always learn that China has 5000 years of cultural heritage, and that therefore we are very special. It appears that other places also have some of this heritage stuff. And are also old. Like, really old.”

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Re: The Su-Hua highway improvement project turning out to be an archaeological expedition

Postby hansioux » 31 Dec 2015, 16:26

http://gushi.tw/archives/18732

More photos of the artefacts found at Han-ben.

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It's confirmed that people at Han-ben were sea-fairing. They are also connected to the people living at Shi-san-hang (十三行, New Taipei), and Chong-de (崇德, Hualian). Han-ben might have been the midway point for North-coast / East-coast sea way.

Archaeologists also determined that the site was destroyed by natural disaster and rebuilt several times. The people also were skilled at metallurgy. The artefacts included imported objects, such as gold leaf, glass, and agate.

Hualian Mayor and the construction company however are relentless in pushing the construction forward. The archaeologists don't have the luxury of doing a complete survey of the entire site. Instead, they have to rush to each new bridge pier about to begin construction and rescue whatever they can. Hualian mayor have called the archaeologists slow, intentionally slowing down construction, and an international disgrace. Many sites were and are going to be destroyed by construction immediately when the team is done excavating.
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Re: The Su-Hua highway improvement project turning out to be an archaeological expedition

Postby Mucha Man » 02 Jan 2016, 00:50

Great stuff. The real disgrace is the attitude of the Hualian mayor though there are few places in the world with good laws (and public attitudes) protecting archaeological discoveries.
“Everywhere else in the world is also really old” said Prof. Liu, a renowned historian at Beijing University. “We always learn that China has 5000 years of cultural heritage, and that therefore we are very special. It appears that other places also have some of this heritage stuff. And are also old. Like, really old.”

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Re: The Su-Hua highway improvement project turning out to be an archaeological expedition

Postby Abacus » 05 Jan 2016, 12:32

I didn't make it as far as the SuHua highway last weekend but the construction project south of Taidong is a big one. Looks like the entire stretch will be 4 lanes the entire way south of Taidong until you go up the mountain pass. And it is possible that they are building a long tunnel that will bypass most of the mountain pass on Hwy 9. These are just observations.
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Re: The Su-Hua highway improvement project turning out to be an archaeological expedition

Postby headhonchoII » 05 Jan 2016, 13:25

I passed the suhua highway construction recently. It's a major project bypassing the worst parts of the current road, it's going to be make it much easier to get to Hualian, which obviously has its pros and cons. The usual combination of elevated highways and tunnels mostly. It was a compromise on the original plan I believe. Anyway overall I think it's good as the old road is a real scary drive, due to the behavior of the drivers unfortunately.
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Re: The Su-Hua highway improvement project turning out to be an archaeological expedition

Postby hansioux » 02 Feb 2016, 15:59



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONTFuVmjaOs

Video documentary on the Hanben site in Mandarin.

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So far there are 3 layers with human activity. The first layer (L4) from 900 to 1600 years ago contains metal tools. The second layer (L6) contains neolithic artefacts from 1600 to 2000 years ago. Between the first and second layer, there's a layer that's the result of multiple mud slides. Below the neolithic layer, there's an even older cultural layer.

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The red line contains the estimated area of the Hanben ruins, and the yellow dotted line marks the most valuable section of the ruins. The white line marks the Suhua highway improvement project.
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