of the Three Gorges in China.
And when it's finished in 2009, the dam will submerge 1,271 archaeological sites. Ever since the giant dam was proposed by Mao, it has been controversial. In return for supplying a vast increase in hydroelectric power and preventing disastrous floods downriver, it will evict 2 million people and flood 30,000 hectares of farmland.
The archaeological sites to be inundated may include evidence of early human occupation; archaeologists now think people were in the Three Gorges area 100,000 years ago.
little, too late
The population relocation effort is facing "serious fraud," Childs-Johnson charges. Last year, the London Independent reported that official pledges on resettlement are "being broken one by one. Farmers will not get as much land as originally promised and compensation money has been embezzled by corrupt officials." (See "China: Valley..." in the bibliography.)
Summing up the project, Childs-Johnson wrote that " the problems facing archaeology in the Three Gorges area are manifold and profound... Archaeology and preservation are seriously hampered, due to the priority of technology and national pride at the expense of cultural heritage."
Sift through our salvage archaeology bibliography.
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