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China Protects Ancient Post Facility

Xinhua, 10 November 2001

SHIJIAZHUANG, November 10 (Xinhua) -- China recently put an ancient post office on its national relics protection list.

The Jiming (which means cock-crowing) dak, or postal facility, located in Huailai county of Hebei province, some 100 kilometers west of Beijing, is the biggest of its kind in the country. It is actually a small city surrounded by a two-kilometer-long wall with two gates.

The city was one of hundreds of ancient daks on the road linking western areas with the capital Beijing. Mailmen could rest in the city, which was also a mail distribution center.

The Jiming dak has three streets, ten temples and some shops and residences.

Archeologists say the dak was constructed in the 13th century. Soldiers were stationed in the city to protect the smooth delivery of mail.

Mail was an important communication link for an ancient country like China, which occupied vast territory. Horses were the basic transportation means in mail delivery. Enditem