SHIJIAZHUANG, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- A statue stele was found in Zhonglu Village, Baixiang County, in north China's Hebei Province, recently by a villager who was renovating his house.
Experts believe the statue stele to belong to the late Northern Qi Dynasty (550-577), although the year cannot be determined with any accuracy.
The stele measures 148 cm high, 70 cm wide and 18 cm thick. On the upper part, there are two Buddhist niches, each of which has a Buddha statue carved inside. However, the statues are damaged beyond recognition.
There are 23 columns of inscriptions, but due to aging, they cannot all be read. Those passages that are legible record the deeds of many members of the family surnamed Lu in Zhonglu Village, who had official careers and served the people.
Geng Xiaoning, director of the county's cultural relics protection institute, said the discovery of the stele provides solid material for studying the development of Buddhist culture in China. ■