SHIJIAZHUANG -Archaeologists in north China’s Hebei Province unearthed an old stone tablet dating back to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), containing information related to environmental protection, local authorities said Monday.

The local culture relic protection department of the city of Wuan said the stone tablet was discovered in Yangyi Village. With a height of 0.64 meters and width of 0.5 meters, the well-preserved tablet has characters carved on the front side, depicting villagers keeping their water source clean, protecting wild animals, and strictly banning guns.

The tablet, dating back to 1862, also specified the number of fines for each violation and the law enforcers, according to the inscription.

The inscription showed a relatively complete environmental protection law, which could be the earliest stone tablet with an inscription of ecological protection found in the area. It reflected that residents had a good awareness of environmental protection at that time, said Jia Mingtian, who led the research on the tablet.

The new findings are important for understanding the ecological environment, social order and folk customs in the southern parts of the province in the Qing Dynasty, according to archaeologists.