Extensive tomb complex unearthed in suburban Beijing

A massive tomb complex has been found in a southwest suburb in Beijing, the Beijing institute of cultural heritage said on Sunday.

The 70 hectare archeological site consists of 129 tombs built over 1,100 years, spanning from the East Han Dynasty (25-220)to Tang Dynasty (618-907) and Liao (907-1125).

Some of these tombs have exquisite murals depicting people and furniture, and artifacts found so far have included pottery, porcelain, lacquerware, and other funeral paraphernalia.

Archaeologists say the complex is a rare discovery due to its size, time span and location. (source)

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This is such an incredible video. Many of you are unaware of the battle for LGBT acceptance in other parts of the world because in the U.S., we are so focused on marriage, but in places like China, the battle for tolerance is at an all time high. While China is making some progress in the homosexual and transgender realm, there is still a long way to go, but it starts with parents. This video encourages parents to accept their LGBT children and welcome them into the new year with love. Take the time to watch this video and share it with the world.

Painting with figures on top half and inscriptions on bottom.

On the top left, a  lady dressed in Chinese outfit with paper and brush in hand, identified as the spirit of the Pole Star. On the right demon-like figure wearing loin-cloth, named in inscription as the planet Ketu. Inscriptions on the bottom mix Chinese with talismanic formulae. Ink and colours on paper.

Five Dynasties, ca.925-976

British Museum

The Civil War didn’t end slavery in the United States. In fact, there is more slavery today in this country than ever before. Each week, containers of Chinese men, women, and children are landing in San Francisco, San Diego, New York, and Seattle. They have been sold into slavery and must pay off their debt by working in sweatshops making clothing, or selling their bodies in prostitution.
—  Richard LeMieux, Breakfast at Sally’s.
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China’s panda population on the rise as habitat preservation efforts continue

BEIJING (February 28, 2015) — The worldwide population of wild giant pandas increased by 268 over the last decade according to a new survey conducted by the government of China. The increase in population brings the total number of wild giant pandas to 1,864.

The population increase represents a 16.8% rise compared to the last panda survey in 2003. Wild giant pandas, a global symbol of wildlife conservation, are found only in China’s Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces.

According to the report, formally known as the Fourth National Giant Panda Survey, the geographic range of pandas throughout China also increased. The total area inhabited by wild giant pandas in China now equals 2,577,000 hectares, an expansion of 11.8% since 2003.

“These results are a testament to the conservation achievements of the Chinese government,” said Xiaohai Liu, executive director of programmes, WWF-China. “A lot of good work is being done around wild giant panda conservation, and the government has done well to integrate these efforts and partner with conservation organizations including WWF.”

Much of the success in increasing the panda population comes as a result of conservation policies implemented by the Chinese government, including the Natural Forest Protection Project and Grain for Green.

The report found that 1246 wild giant pandas live within nature reserves, accounting for 66.8% of the total wild population, and the habitat within nature reserves accounts for 53.8% of the total habitat area. There are currently 67 panda nature reserves in China, an increase of 27 since the last report.

Although the survey recorded an increase in population and habitat area, the wild giant panda still faces severe challenges. According to the survey, 46.2% of panda habitats and 33.2% of the panda population are outside of protected nature reserves. Habitat fragmentation – the separation of wildlife population by physical barriers – is increasingly noticeable with about 12% individuals facing higher risks to their survival.

Traditional threats to pandas such as poaching appear to be declining, but large-scale disturbances including mining, hydro-power, tourism and infrastructure construction are becoming more severe and were referenced in the government panda survey for the first time.

Giant panda conservation efforts benefit many other rare species of animals and plants in the southwest China biodiversity hotspot. The giant panda’s habitat is a protective umbrella for endangered species such as the takin, golden monkey, red panda, and crested ibis. Forests within the giant panda’s habitat feature major water conservation areas that flow to the densely populated Yangtze River Basin.

© WWF