Over 2,000-year-old wooden well unearthed in China’s Shanxi

TAIYUAN (XINHUA) – An ancient nine-sided well, bearing a wooden structure, with a history of over 2,000 years was discovered in north China’s Shanxi Province, archaeologists announced yesterday.

The well, located 570 metres from the ancient city ruins in today’s Yangquan city, was first seen during shantytown renovation in November 2019, according to the Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology.

The well is nine metres deep and 4.5 metres wide at the mouth, archaeologists said. Timberwork dating analysis showed that the well was built and was in use from the late Warring States Period (475-221BC) to the early Western Han Dynasty (202BC-AD25).

A large number of wooden slabs and fragments were also found in the well, leading to the speculation that railings and a pavilion were in place above the well at the time.

“The nine-sided structure is quite peculiar, and the masonry technology was exquisite. Its discovery is of great significance to the masonry technology of ancient wells and research of early wooden structures,” said Deputy Director of Yangquan’s Heritage Management Centre Zheng Haiwei.

File photo shows the wooden structure on the wall of a 2,000-year-old well. PHOTO: XINHUA