A stele of the Great Wall built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) has been discovered in the city of Xinzhou in North China's Shanxi province, according to Xinzhou's cultural relics department on June 16.
The stele was discovered by Shanxi Ancient Building Protection Engineering Co at a section of Baicaokou Great Wall near Yanmen Pass in local Daixian county.
The rectangular bluestone monument is 96 centimeters long, 66 cm wide and 13 cm thick. There are corrugated patterns with a width of 6 cm around the surface of the stele, and 12 lines of vertical inscription with 32 Chinese characters in the middle, with four lines describing the process of building the Great Wall and eight lines recording the names of officials.
The stele provides important written and historical materials for research on the history of the Great Wall in the Ming Dynasty near Yanmen Pass – one the wall's most important passes.
Yanmen Pass is located on Yanmen Mountain, about 20 kilometers north of Daixian county. The Baicaokou Great Wall near the pass is one of the most complete Great Wall sections from the Ming Dynasty in existence.