SHIJIAZHUANG, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- An ancient stone tablet describing the social situation and folk customs over five centuries ago was found in north China's Hebei Province, the local cultural relic protection department said Wednesday.
Archaeologists believe the stone tablet was erected in 1464 in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
The semi-arc tablet, 125 cm tall, 74 cm wide and 22 cm thick, was found in Sizhuang Village of Lincheng County, with a larger stone base in the shape of a bixi (a turtle-like ancient Chinese mythical creature).
It was predominantly well-preserved with a clear inscription on it. Apart from the socio-economic status, geographical conditions and folkways in the area at that time, it recorded the origin and process of a local temple restoration.
The temple mentioned in the inscription was recorded in the county annals compiled during the subsequent Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), and was destroyed before New China was founded in 1949, said Suo Lixia, head of Lincheng's cultural relic protection department.
The tablet will provide valuable materials for future archaeological excavations of the ruins of the temple, as well as research on the religious traditions and local conditions, according to Suo.