HEFEI, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Chinese archaeologists have discovered the ruins of an ancient distillery, the largest of its kind ever found in the country, local authorities said Wednesday.
The distillery dates back to the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties and it was discovered by construction workers by accident in Suixi County, east China's Anhui Province, according to the provincial institute of heritage and archaeology.
Archaeologists have excavated 3,000 out of a total area of 18,000 square meters, unearthing a series of facilities used for making distilled spirits in ancient times, such as three distillation stoves and more than 30 fermenting tanks, according to Chen Chao, associate researcher with the institute.
Meanwhile, over 600 items including drinking vessels, cigarette holders and snuff bottles have been excavated so far at the site.
Currently, the excavation work is still ongoing.
"This is the fourth ancient distillery workshop ruins ever found by Chinese archaeologists. The complete and well-preserved excavated equipment represents the distilled liquor making craftsmanship in northern China," Chen said.
Before the discovery, two ancient distilleries were unearthed in southwest China's Sichuan Province and another one was found in east China's Jiangxi Province.