Traveling down the Shangqing river 上请溪, from Shangqing village, Guixi County, Jiangxi Province, towards the so-called hanging-coffin cliffs 悬棺岩 (see very last image). The shallow, very clear and clean river cuts through a lovely area with sandstone (红色砂砾岩) mountains and - occasionally - sheer cliffs on either side. Their curiously eroded shapes have attracted many visitors in the past. Each "mountain" (these are not very high, probably not more than 1200 feet) is individually named. The softness and porosity of the stone has provided an ancient people (or tribe) with an interesting, vertical burial ground 崖墓群 for their ancestors. Still today these very old coffins (some are reliably dated 2600 years back) can be seen high up in the cliffs from the river. How and who put them there is part of the local lore. Quite a number of scholarly essays address the questions of who, how, when and why.
This area has now been declared a national park.
Extachrome slides, scanned with an Epson 2400 scanner to TIF, converted into JPG, and uploaded on September 9, 2006.
Thomas H. Hahn, Ithaca, NY.
© Thomas H. Hahn Docu-Images