On November 20, it was learned from the Cultural Relics Protection and Research Institute of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region that the investigation of the Yadong Customs site was recently completed. It was the first customs established by the Qing Dynasty government in Tibet and provided an important basis for the central government's governance over Tibet then.
Yadong County is located in southern Tibet and borders Bhutan and India. The Qing Dynasty Yadong Customs Site is located in Xia Yadong Township, Yadong County in Shigatse. The total area of the customs building complex is about 65,000 square meters.
Chen Zujun, a researcher at the Cultural Relics Protection and Research Institute of Tibet, said in an interview with a reporter from China News Service that the Qing Dynasty Yadong Customs site consists of the ruins of six buildings and a post road that runs through the site. At the site of the ruins, a large number of the remaining buildings have collapsed, and many remnant porcelain, iron, and bronze objects were discovered.
Mr. Chen said that according to analysis of the layout, scale, and indoor structure, it is preliminarily speculated that the functional attributes of the buildings are: a customs office, a Guan Yu temple, dormitories for customs officials and garrison troops, a customs clearance and procedural area, and a daily necessities trading area.
In addition, a number of ruins of buildings associated with the customs were also found in the surrounding area. After preliminary research, it was determined that these included ruins of walls and checkpoints, a stable, a British business agency building, and others. Chen Zujun believes that these and the customs site constituted a whole entity, which provides information to comprehensively understand customs operations.
Chen Zujun said that the excavation and investigation of the Qing Dynasty Yadong Customs site has provided valuable historical material for comprehensively identifying the origin, overall layout, and building structures and functions for the first customs site established in Tibet in the late Qing Dynasty period, as well as why it was ultimately abandoned. At the same time, it is valuable for studying the political, economic, military, and cultural aspects of Tibet, especially the Yadong area, during the late-Qing period.