400-year-old stone tablet found in north China

SHIJIAZHUANG, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) — A stone tablet recording the local development of Buddhism and dating back more than 400 years has been found in north China’s Hebei Province.

Measuring 220 cm in length and 83 cm in width, the tablet was found in Shizhao Township, Nanhe District, in the city of Xingtai, according to the district’s cultural relics protection department.

Carved in 1584 in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the tablet has inscriptions on both sides, with one side bearing the names of donors.

It also recorded the local development of Buddhism, including the efforts of Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) politician Liu Bingzhong to protect a nearby temple and the reconstruction process of the temple during the Ming Dynasty.

The discovery of the stone tablet is of great value to the study of political, military and religious status in the Yuan Dynasty and the Ming Dynasty, said Lan Jianhui, a historian in Xingtai City.

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