SHIJIAZHUANG, June 3 (Xinhua) -- A 300 kg bluestone weight used by salt merchants in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) was unearthed in north China's Hebei Province, local archaeologists said Monday.
The well-preserved weight was discovered at a construction site in Youfang Village of Qinghe County recently. Inscribed in the weight was the characters "Zhen De" that means salt merchant, and "Daoguang 29 years" that means the 29th year during the reign of Emperor Daoguang.
According to researchers in the county, the wharf of Youfang was an important business center along the Grand Canal, and the weight is of great importance to cultural and historical studies.
The Grand Canal, spanning over 2,000 km between Beijing and Hangzhou, was an important transport channel in ancient China.