The Greater Xiao Zhu Shan area is an untapped treasure of Chinese cultural heritage. To the West and North of the great Xiao Zhu Shan lie a series of little-known hills and mountains. They truly are spectacular, in their modest way. Scattered throughout are remnants from China’s long imperial history. Truth be told, it needs to be researched thoroughly.
A local villager said that “Nobody knows how old these are. Not even the oldest of the old know when it was built.”
Even when he was a little boy, his manner suggested, even the grandparents did not know how old they were; well-known village lore bespoke this mystery.
There are many various terraced hills around Xiao Zhu Shan. These are probably the oldest, and are the most crude. If you look carefully at the rock formations, they are not constructed in any particularly fine fashion, whereas there are other places with less-crude constructions and then terraces from the Communist era which are the highest quality.
One way to guess how old these terraces are is to guess how old the trees are. One might surmise that the trees started growing in the terraces at the same time that people stopped farming there. Right? Maybe?
If there is any truth to that, then we might guess that the 20-something centimeter trees growing there might be around 150 years old(?). That would suggest that these were constructed during the Qing dynasty perhaps around the time of the Dowager Cixi. Who knows.
It might be interesting to go and find the Qing Dynasty records for the area to see what was happening here. Such records probably exist. After all Ling Shan Wei (right next to Xiao Zhu Shan) was a major military installation during both the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
Nevertheless, here are some photos of some work left behind by some people who were living in the hills around Xiao Zhu Shan a long time ago. This is the real history.