Three of the stones – weighing 60 tonnes, 10 tonnes and 450 tonnes – were pulled from the deep water, while another stone which broke during its salvage was successfully recovered later, Wang Youjun, an engineer in the salvage program, told Xinhua Tuesday.
The broken stones have been pulled up to the river bank, said Wang, but work remains to be done by archeologists and experts to check the stones for ancient carvings of Chinese characters.
The Yiheming Inscription that dates back to 514 A.D. was a dedication by an ancient Chinese calligrapher to a dead crane he raised. The Inscription was carved into a cliff overlooking the Yangtze River in Zhenjiang.
Historically, masters have left their calligraphy on the Inscription. But due to lightning strikes and landslides, the epitaphs have fallen into the river, according to the online encyclopedia of China’s biggest search engine, Baidu.