Work resumed intermittently between 1942 and 1963, and digs have been continuous since 1974. Since 1985 the Committee for the Preservation of the Epidaurus Monuments has been conducting research, and the restoration of several buildings including the gate of the theater’s west parodos is at various stages of completion. In 1988, the Asklepieion was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Further reading

Lawrence, A. W. 1996. Greek Architecture. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Martin, Roland, and Henri Stierlin. 1967. Living Architecture: Greek, New York: Grosset and Dunlap.

Tomlinson, R. A. 1983. Epidauros. London: Granada.

Three Gorges Dam, Yangtze River

People’s Republic of China

The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River near Chongqing in China’s central Hubei Province is the largest hydroelectric project in history, with twenty-six generators designed to deliver over 18,000 megawatts, 11 percent of the nation’s needs. Started in 1994 and scheduled for completion by 2014, it will provide electricity to rural provinces and facilitate flood management and improved navigation for the upper Yangtze. The controversial dam has been widely criticized within and outside China as a socially and environmentally harmful project.

The 3,450-mile (5,500-kilometer) Yangtze is the world’s third-longest river. Midway on its journey from the Tibetan Plateau to the East China Sea, it passes through a 120-mile-long (193-kilometer), exquisitely beautiful stretch known as the Three Gorges—the precipitous Qutang, Wuxia, and Xiling—one of China’s most scenic regions. It will be submerged through the building of the dam.

The huge dam—five times wider than the U.S. Hoover Dam—will create a 575-foot-deep (176-meter) reservoir nearly 400 miles (640 kilometers) long and an average of 3,600 feet (1,200 meters) wide. According to official Chinese sources, the lake will completely inundate 2 cities, 11 counties, 140 towns, 326 townships, and 1,351 villages; other figures are consistently and considerably higher. About 59,000 acres (23,800 hectares) of rich agricultural land and numerous—some experts say nearly 1,300—important archeological sites will be lost, and an estimated 1.98 million people will be displaced and relocated. Other critics claim the project will increase the risk of earthquakes and landslides. It will also threaten fish stocks and such endangered species as the Yangtze dolphin, the giant panda, and others. As of 2001, the published estimated cost was U.S.$27 billion; the budget has soared from U.S.$10.57 billion in 1992 to a figure that unofficial sources place around U.S.$76 billion.

The dam was proposed as early as 1919 by Dr. Sun Yat Sen (Sun Yi Xian), and it was revived when the People’s Republic of China exploded into being in 1949. Chinese and international engineers and scientists were involved in planning and design. Despite public opposition, The Three Gorges Project Feasibility Study Report emerged in May 1989 and became a major issue in the Tiananmen Square incident in June, after which Premier Li Peng, mostly for political reasons, became the scheme’s principal sponsor. Following more feasibility studies, in April 1992 the National People’s Congress approved construction, but about a third of the delegates either abstained or voted against it. The project remains the focus of a political tussle, the outcome of which will shift the balance of power in China’s Communist Party.

The main parts of the Three Gorges Project are the dam, the powerhouses, and the navigation facilities. The 7,550-foot-wide (2,310-meter) concrete gravity-type dam is over 600 feet (175 meters) high; its 1,580-foot-long (483-meter) spillway is located in the middle of the original river channel, flanked by intake dam and nonoverflow dam sections. If the dam is finished, two powerhouses will be built at the toe of the intake dams, one on each side; there will be fourteen generator units in the left powerhouse and twelve in the right, connected to fifteen transmission lines to Central China, East Sichuan, and East China. The completed ship lock on the left bank will consist of two-way, five-step flight locks, through which 10,000-ton (9,100-tonne) barges will be able to pass. The one-step vertical ship lift will be able to raise a 3,000-ton (2,700-tonne) vessel.

Responsibility for all aspects of the construction and the eventual management of the project is vested