A journey through city's archeological past

The public areas of Guangfulin Relics Park in suburban Shanghai's Songjiang District have opened free of charge.

People can visit an array of attractions, such as a memorial hall dedicated to Songjiang poet Chen Zilong (1608-1647), Fulin Pagoda, Zhiye Temple, City God Temple, Guandi Temple, Sanyuan Palace and Duoyun Books, according to the district government.

The park is open from 9am to 5pm daily.

It was built on the Guangfulin archeological site, where Shanghai's earliest-known residents lived some 4,000 years ago.

The site was discovered by farmers in 1959 while they were digging a new waterway.

A highlight of the park is the exhibition hall, which features three museums partially above and below water.

Relics including pottery, spinning wheels, cooking vessels and dishes are displayed with scenes from ancient times to the present.

The hall is among four of the park's venues with an admission fee; the other three are the Guangfulin Archeological Site Exhibition Hall, a woodcraft exhibition hall and an ancient pottery art museum.

In 1961, archeologists began the first systematic excavation of the site, unearthing many pottery vases, spinning wheels, cooking vessels and dishes. Archeologists also discovered sharpened stone weapons and tools, such as axes, knives, chisels and shovels.

Covering about 12,300 square meters, the exhibition hall displays 159 cultural relics found during the excavations, including three pieces of bronze zun (ritual vessel) typical of the Chu Culture, an important influence on Chinese civilization during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC).