DPP Taipei City Councilor Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青) has demanded that the city's Cultural Affairs Bureau step up efforts to protect a prehistoric archeological site which now lies derelict on the grounds of the Municipal Children's Recreation Center (MCRC).
"The Yuanshan Culture site, (圓山文化遺址) which holds the largest prehistoric shell mound in Taiwan, has been listed as a national historical heritage site," Hsu said yesterday.
"However, the Cultural Affairs Bureau, which is responsible for managing the site, has left the site barren and untended," Hsu said.
The city councilor demanded that the cultural affairs council move to protect the existing 2.7 hectare site, and coordinate with the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) to determine the exact boundary of the site -- which includes the shell mound where inhabitants would discard the shells from shell fish they had eaten.
To make her point, Hsu led officials from the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Education Bureau, and the recreation center to inspect the remaining relics.
The prehistoric Yuanshan culture, which existed in Taiwan around 3,000 to 4,000 years ago, was first discovered by a Japanese archaeologist in 1897.
Although the site has been known about for some time, it was not until 1988 that the Ministry of the Interior officially listed the area as a first-degree national historical heritage site.
Hu said that according to the Cultural Heritage Preservation Law, the local government is responsible for managing and maintaining historical heritage sites that lie within its jurisdiction. Therefore, Taipei's Cultural Affairs Bureau is responsible for looking after the site.
"However, it has been two years since the former director of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Lung Ying-tai (
At the site, artifacts could be seen lying exposed on the ground, apparently being washed away by rain and wind. "The shell mound is especially vulnerable to damage from typhoons," Hsu said.
However, the recreation center, which is responsible for managing the site on the city's behalf, is not equipped for such work.
"The preservation work of the site needs professional experts to conduct appropriate protection work. The center is not really equipped with that professionalism to undertake the maintenance work,"said MCRC Director Chao Shan-pin (趙善彬).