HAIKOU, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- A rare piece of ebony dating back around 5,000 years has recently been found in a river in China's southernmost island province of Hainan, local authorities said.
The local government and forestry department organized people to salvage the ebony from the riverbed of the Changhua River in Changjiang Li Autonomous County. The salvage took three days and the rare wood was eventually taken out from the river and sent to the county's cultural park for preservation on Thursday.
Experts said the ancient wood measures 20 meters in length, 12 tonnes in weight, and has a maximum diameter of 1.4 meters.
Based on the carbonization of the wood, experts said it has a history of about 5,000 years.
Ebony is a dense black or brown hardwood, renowned for its high value because of its color, durability, hardness and ability to take a high polish.
Zhang Jinshan, president of the provincial root carving culture and art association, said ebony is a scarce and non-renewable wood.
"The finding in the county can help us learn about the activities of ancient humans and changes of the natural environment here," Zhang said.