Argument: The Three Gorges Dam has destroyed Chinese cultural artifacts
- Lisa See. "Waters of Three Gorges Dam Will Wash Over World Culture". Los Angeles Times. June 8, 2003 - "In 2009, when the final phase is completed and the reservoir is filled to capacity, more than 2,000 known archeological sites — some dating to the Paleolithic era — will have been submerged, and numerous historic buildings and anthropological sites and the beautiful Three Gorges will be at risk.
- [...]In this vacuum created by a lack of resources, time and will, sophisticated thieves equipped with cell phones, radios and metal detectors have ransacked tombs from the Han through the Qing dynasties. As in Iraq, the failure of law enforcement has resulted in some farmers — armed with shovels, pickaxes and sometimes the village tractor — becoming emboldened enough to try their luck at looting[...]
- Historic monuments and buildings in the Three Gorges have presented some interesting preservation conundrums and a few wacky solutions. Some structures, such as the 1,700-year-old Zhangfei Temple, are being dismantled and moved to higher ground, while others, like the 12-story, 500-year-old Shibaozhai Temple and the White Emperor City, will be protected in situ by massive concrete dikes, creating modern islands with ancient architecture set at lower levels than the surrounding man-made lake.
- The White Crane Ridge stone carvings — the world's first hydrometric station — has proved to be one of the greatest challenges. This ancient navigation system cut into a sandstone ledge emerges only during dry season, revealing carvings and 30,000 characters of Chinese poems and comments that record 1,200 years of the Yangtze's water history. To save the attraction, Chinese engineers have envisioned an "underwater palace," with a pressure-free container covering the carvings on one side, the lake on the other and an enclosed underwater walkway in the middle.
- But what about the unexplored sites? So much history is buried in China, and it is usually found by accident. A farmer digging in a field in 1974 discovered the famous "terra cotta warriors" of Xian. In 1984, in the village of Longgupo not far from the Yangtze, a farmer stumbled across a cave that had collapsed 2,000 years ago. Inside, anthropologists found 20 layers of bones, including those of many extinct species. But the most amazing discovery was a piece of human jawbone more than 1.8 million years old. The Longgupo hominid could be the ancestor of all Asian mankind."
- Anthony Kuhn. "China's Three Gorges: Assessing the Impact. Three Gorges History Drowning in Rising Reservoir". January 4, 2008 - "Historic Sites at Risk
- An impressive Stone Treasure Fortress dominates the shoreline of the reservoir in the county of Zhongxian. There aren't any fortifications any more. The main structure is an early 18th century, multitiered pagoda with curly eaves.
- It's perched on a cliff looking out over the Yangtze River. On the front of the gateway is a water level marker that says 175.1 — the number of meters above sea level and the level to which the waters will rise when the dam is completed."