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Archaeologists excavate stone statues underwater in Xisha

A team of archaeologists set off last month to excavate a shipwreck in the Xisha archipelago in the South China Sea. And besides the stone building materials they found a few days ago, seven stone statues are the latest discovery there.

The 25 archaeologists are equipped with a 900-ton purpose-made vessel and four auxiliary vessels.

Of the seven excavated stone statues, only one retained its full body, from head to foot, while the other six all missing their heads, which are presumed stolen.

Four are confirmed as male figures, probably court officials from the Ming Dynasty, judging from the style of dress. This is the second notable underwater archaeological excavation in the South China Sea.