Decision to allow construction on archeological site questioned

Decision to allow construction on archeological site questioned

Taipei, May 26 (CNA) The Taichung City government's decision to allow the construction of a building, where the earliest traces of human activity in central Taiwan dating back nearly 5,000 years were discovered, was questioned by a city councilor on Thursday.

Taichung City Councilor Chiang Chao-kuo of the Democratic Progressive Party said during a city council session that the city government removed all the 4,000-year-old artifacts and human remains so the developer could resume construction.

The National Museum of Natural Science found 48 human remains, including a woman holding an infant, which were carbon dated to be between 4,000 and 4,800 years old, in an area measuring 400 square meters at a construction site on Anhe Road.

The remains of female skeleton cradling an infant in her arms caught the world's attention after the finding was reported by Reuters in late April.

According to the museum, the finding proved the researchers' theory that human activities already existed in central Taiwan at least 5,000 years ago, in the early days of the Neolithic era, since some of the artifacts are estimated to be 5,640 years old.

Chiang called the city government's decision "a disgrace" to remove the human remains and artifacts, which include more than 4,000 pottery pieces and stone tools, and preserve them in an alternative location, since it did not follow the law regarding the preservation of cultural assets.

The city government's designation of another plot near the site as the Anhe historical site last year is a trick to distract the citizens from the resumption of construction, Chiang said.

Taichung City Bureau of Cultural Affairs Director-General Wang Chih-cheng (???) said the human remains and artifacts found on the construction site had been salvaged before construction was allowed to resume.

The designation of a nearby plot, currently a park, as the historical site that will be used to preserve the find, was selected by an expert committee, which believed a large amount of artifacts from the same period can be found, according to Wang.

Wang added that the city plans to apply to the Ministry of Culture for the plot to be designated as a national historical site. (By Chao Li-yen and Kay Liu)

Updated : 2021-01-28 17:55 GMT+08:00