Shimao, a 4,300-year-old forbidden city (2)

According to Building Code & Standards (营造法式) published in the Song Dynasty, the Chinese mortise-tenon system was invented during the Han Dynasty 2,000 years ago. However, timber beams are found to be inserted into the 4,300-year-old stone structures using the mortise-tenon connection in Shimao buildings.

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More from All Things Chinese

Shimao, a 4,300-year-old forbidden city (1)

A 1000-year-old pagoda on the top of Tiger Hill in Suzhou aspires to touch the heaven.

A stone bridge that is so close to the water in a Suzhou garden.