------Program code: DO-080831-00582 (what's this?)

Source: CCTV.com

08-31-2008 09:34

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Nature is the author of innumerable miracles. Golden Pebble Beach located in Dalian, is one of them. Golden Pebble Beach is a major scenic area in Dalian’s Coastal National Geopark. The rock formations in the area consist of quartz sandstone from the Neoproterozoic Era, 800 million to billion years ago, and carbonate from the Sinian System, 600 to 800 million years ago. Sandstone pillars and a carbonate rock forest constitute the main geomorphologic landform here. The primitive landscapes of Mill-dish Mountain and Dantuozi Island are ideal habitats for birds. The eastern section of the beach is also delicately decorated, with its colourful stratigraphic section dating from the Sinian period, characterized by complex rock and sedimentary structures and accompanied by various forms of abrasion geomorphology.

In August 2005, experts sent by the Ministry of Land and Resources recommended Dalian’s Coastal National Geopark for inclusion in the fourth group of national geological parks. Golden Pebble Beach, with its rich beauty and numerous mysteries, was a key factor in earning the recommendation.

So, what are the mysteries of Golden Pebble Beach?

Golden Pebble Beach is a key element in Dalian’s millennia-old marine culture.

It has many areas of historical interest. Gulongshan Cave is the oldest site ever discovered in Dalian; the Xiaozhushan Ancient Cultural Relics on Guanglu Island, reflect the full course of Dalian’s cultural development during the Neolithic Age. Research has shown that fishing was relatively developed during that period.

Many gallipots resembling sea cucumbers with spikes, have been unearthed at several ancient sites; Guojia Village, Dapanjia Village, Ganjingzi and Shuangtuozi. The locals call them “sea cucumber pots”. They were originally used for storing left-over fish. In upper Shuangtuozi, which dates back over 3,000 years, a hundred stored fish were found, each 10-15 cm long. In old dwellings excavated in upper Dazuiziin, dozens of gallipots were unearthed, filled with fish that had apparently been preserved by salting.

The evidence points to the fact that at least 3,000 years ago, salt was processed in Dalian. The popularity of salt and fish indicates that the area enjoyed a certain level of prosperity. In one verse, the great poet Du Fu wrote: “A voyage to Liaoning brings back tons of rice to eastern Wu”. This is a vivid description of the region’s prosperity.

There is considerable evidence pointing to the fact that people made their way from Shandong to Dalian by sea during the Longshan Period.

A number of “shell mound sites” and ancient tombs in Dalian have yielded key archaeological information. The “shell mound sites” were coastal dwellings during the Neolithic Age. But Dalian has many other sites of vital interest; artificial caves, formed of layers of clamshells; more than 100 beacon towers dating from the Warring States Period constituting a military signalling network that was based on the principle of “a tower every ten li and a fortress every 100 li”; facilities attesting to the high level of development of navigation and trade in ancient Dalian; and then there’s Lvshunkou, a major battlefield first in the Russo-Japanese War and then in the Sino-Japanese War, when an engagement took place around Dalu Island and in the sea areas south of Black Island.

The historical and cultural progress achieved by Dalian clearly has its roots in the city’s fine geographical location and diverse topographical features.

So what, precisely, are its advantages?

Dalian’s landscape is formed of a curved coastline, hills facing the sea, exposed bedrock and a fully-developed abrasion geomorphology.

It has beautiful scenery and jagged rocks, particularly in the area of Golden Pebble Beach.

Golden Pebble Beach is located on the coast southeast of Dalian itself. Until 30 years ago, it was the location of a poor fishing village.

Life for the fishermen was tough. Even though they worked hard all year round, they still struggled to survive.

Every night, they would hear animal-like cries coming from the sea. The fishermen believed it was a fox spirit crying out, and inside caves they set up places to worship it.

The fishermen were convinced that their piety would eventually move the dragon king, and that he would lead them to prosperity.

But the dreadful cries persisted.

Later, they turned their attention to the strange rocks that littered the beach. They pressed their ears against them, and heard the strange sounds of the sea. So they decided to destroy the rocks with explosives, in the hope that this would get rid of the sounds and open up new land.