Archaeological China Reveals the Splendid Chinese Civilization

Since March this year, the dizzying new archaeological excavations at the Sanxingdui site have not ceased to impress the world. Golden masks, bronze sacred trees, bronze altars and many other national-level cultural relics showcase the imagination of the Shu civilization.

To discuss the future protection and development of these treasures, archaeological experts from the Chinese site of Sanxingdui and the ancient city of Pompeii in Italy launched a two-week international academic seminar on the protection and use of heritage this year. culture in both countries. The cooperation between Sanxingdui and Pompeii is also the quintessence of the dialogue between the ancient and splendid Chinese civilization and the world in the progress of archaeological excavations.

Visitors line up before entering the Sanxingdui Museum in Guanghan, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, April 4, 2021. /Sanxingdui Museum

Visitors line up before entering the Sanxingdui Museum in Guanghan, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, April 4, 2021. /Sanxingdui Museum

China’s 5,000-year history has created a vast and profound Chinese civilization, and the state attaches great importance to archaeological work.

Chinese President Xi Jinping called for the development of archeology with Chinese characteristics, style and philosophy, to better understand China’s ancient, extensive and deep civilization and provide strong support for carrying forward the beautiful traditional culture of China and build cultural trust.

With the country’s strong support, many archaeological teams have made great achievements in China in recent years.

In July last year, the relic site of Liangzhu in Hangzhou, capital of China’s Zhejiang Province, a sacred land of more than 5,000 years of Chinese civilization, was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

An aerial view of parts of the Liangzhu archaeological site in Yuhang District of Hangzhou city, east China’s Zhejiang province, July 5, 2019. /VCG Photo

An aerial view of parts of the Liangzhu archaeological site in Yuhang District of Hangzhou city, east China’s Zhejiang province, July 5, 2019. /VCG Photo

As an example of Liangzhu culture, Liangzhu archaeological site is considered one of the most important heritage sites of Neolithic age in China, and the greatest feature of this cultural site is jade ware. . Representing Chinese civilization between 3,300 BC and 2,300 BC, the Liangzhu relic site is roughly contemporary with the Old Kingdom period in ancient Egypt.

Over the past 80 years, generations of archaeologists have developed a comprehensive picture of the early civilization of the Liangzhu Ancient City site through tireless exploration.

The ruins of Liangzhu town were discovered in 2007, and later in 2009 the large dam sites surrounding the town were unearthed. Archaeologists also discovered that the Liangzhu ancestors started using characters around 5,000 years ago, which advanced the history of Chinese writing by more than 1,000 years.

The Liangzhu Ancient Site is just one example.

A distant view of the Neolithic site of Shijiahe. /CGTN Photo

A distant view of the Neolithic site of Shijiahe. /CGTN Photo

The Shijiahe Neolithic Site Complex in Shijiahe City, Central China’s Hubei Province, further reveals the general trend of production specialization and social stratification in the middle reach of the Yangtze River in the end of the Neolithic. The Yuyao Jingtou Mountain site in Zhejiang Province has made a major breakthrough in marine culture archeology and marine environment research in China.

These major “archaeological China” projects have enriched information on the origin and development history of Chinese civilization through step-by-step research.

Professional talent is the key to the development of archaeology.

At the beginning of the introduction of modern archeology in China, Peking University established an archeology research bureau. In 1952, PKU established the first major in archeology among Chinese universities. Su Bingqi, Su Bai, Zou Heng, Lu Zunge, Yu Weichao, Zhang Zhongpei, Yan Wenming… These brilliant names make Peking University a veritable cradle of Chinese archaeologists.

Not only the PCU, over the past 30 years, the Department of Archeology of Northwestern University in Xi’an, China, has formed a “trinitarian” discipline system of archaeology, protective technology cultural relics and cultural heritage management.

“We are committed to establishing the discourse system of Chinese archeology, showing China’s broad and deep civilization to the international community, explaining the splendid achievements of Chinese civilization and its major contributions to human civilization, and making let the world know about Chinese history and the spirit of the Chinese nation,” said Wang Jianxin, director of the Silk Road Archeology Center at Northwestern University.