BEIJING, Jan.18 -- A well-preserved ancient village that dates back 636 years was discovered in the central part of Southwest China's Guizhou Province recently.
The village, named Baojiatun, is located in Anshun city, 75 kilometres away from the provincial capital Guiyang and 60 kilometres away from China's largest Huangguoshu Waterfall.
Bao Shixing, a noted Chinese expert of urban planning, said on Friday that he believes the village was established during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and ancient architecture and other relics from this period have been well preserved at the site.
According to Bao, the village was older than the two ancient villages discovered in the southern part of East China's Anhui Province, the Xidi village and Hong village.
Bao said the forefather of the village was destroyed by Bao Fubao, a general of the Ming Dynasty's first emperor Zhu Yuanzhang.
Today, 88 per cent of the village's 2,200 residents are surnamed Bao.
As the village was first built for military purposes in 1369, its residential buildings were distributed in line with the Chinese ancient philosophic picture the Eight Diagrams an octagon formed of eight combinations of three whole or broken lines.
According to Bao, a preserved irrigation system built in the Ming Dynasty has also been found, which is named a "small Dujiangyan" and the system is still operational in the village today.
Bao said that women in the village still wear ancient-style dresses with the same design as the dresses of Empress Ma, wife of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang.
In addition, an ancient martial art with a history even longer than the famous Shaolin Martial Art in Henan Province is also popular today in the village.
The village also preserved a traditional military-oriented local opera Nuo opera, which has been noted as a key aspect of Guizhou local operas, said Bao.
According to Bao, the discovery of the village has caught the attention of the Ministry of Construction and the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, and a group of experts have drafted a plan to help preserve the ancient village to keep alive our ancient heritage.