On November 4, 2008, water rose over Kaixian, China, ending its history of nearly 2000 years. Located on the Yangtze River, 180 miles upstream from the Three Gorges Dam — the largest water control project ever built — Kaixian was the final town submerged by the dam’s reservoir. By that day in November, the reservoir had claimed more than 150 cities and towns and 1300 villages, displacing an estimated 1.3 million people. Some 1300 archeological sites, many thousands of years old, were lost under the water. Most of the residents of Kaixian had been relocated to higher ground a short distance away, to a new city taking the name of the submerged one. The buildings of the old town had been demolished to prevent underwater hazards; everything of value had been removed or scavenged.

Zhang Xiao