Strengthening Cultural Heritage Conservation for Continuity of Cultural Inheritance
In recent years, the cultural heritage system in our province has deeply implemented General Secretary Xi Jinping's important discourse and instructions on cultural heritage work. We have comprehensively strengthened the protection, utilization, and inheritance of cultural heritage, accelerated the construction of a province strong in cultural heritage and archaeology, and promoted the integration of cultural tourism and cultural creativity. These efforts have injected vitality into the development of cultural inheritance. Starting today, this newspaper will launch a special column titled "Strengthening Cultural Heritage Conservation for Continuity of Cultural Inheritance." Through topics such as archaeological excavations, the utilization of cultural heritage, the inheritance of revolutionary traditions, cultural diplomacy, and the economic empowerment of cultural heritage, we will showcase the vigorous development of cultural heritage in Henan Province in the new era.
Henan's archaeology once again takes the international stage. The joint exploration of the world's largest Xiongnu noble tombs by China and Mongolia has attracted global attention.
In early July, the Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology and the Ulaanbaatar Branch of Mongolian National University launched the archaeological project "Research on Ancient Grassland Archaeological Sites." The first group of four archaeologists from the Henan Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology has arrived in Wendu Ulan County, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, to conduct further excavations at the Gaolemaodu No. 2 cemetery.
Since 2017, archaeologists from Henan Province and Mongolian scholars have been conducting joint archaeological work. The Gaolemaodu No. 2 (Xiongnu) site, which was previously excavated jointly, was selected as one of the "Top 10 Archaeological Discoveries in the World in 2019" by the American magazine Archaeology.
Understanding the long history of Chinese civilization is inseparable from archaeology. The Shuanghuai Tree Site of the Heluo Ancient State, the Erlitou Site, known as the "Earliest China," and numerous other important archaeological discoveries in recent years have provided evidence of the important temporal and spatial nodes in the origin, formation, and development of Chinese civilization.
"All three are selected!" At the end of March this year, the news that the Duili Township Multi-Net Format Layout of Erlitou, Anyang Yin Ruins and surrounding remains, and Kaifeng Zhou Bridge and nearby Bian River sites were selected as the top 10 new archaeological discoveries in China in 2022 was uplifting. With this, the number of projects in Henan selected as the top 10 new archaeological discoveries in China has reached 53, continuing to lead the nation.
The Xia, Shang, and Zhou dynasties laid the foundation for the "early China" at the national level, and Henan, located in the heartland of the Central Plains, has long been the political, economic, and cultural center of China. With the continuous advancement of the Chinese Civilization Origin Project and the "Archaeology China" major project, the Xia dynasty is becoming increasingly tangible.
After years of excavation, the Wadian Site in Yuzhou has revealed a large-scale rammed earth sacrificial site, which some experts have identified as the "Chang" recorded in ancient texts. It is an ancestral worship site of ancient people, with an absolute age of about 4,000 years, falling within the Xia Dynasty period. Through exploration of the ancient city site in Xinmi, it has been proven that the central area of the site features a large-scale rammed earth construction with characteristics of later palace architecture. Excavation at the Shaocai Site in Gongyi has discovered moats from the Xia and Shang periods, confirming their use during the late Longshan culture to the Erlitou culture period. These important archaeological discoveries are making the face of the Xia dynasty increasingly clear.
Technological archaeology allows us to outline the historical details of ancient China more accurately. How did our ancestors live over 5,000 years ago? In the Archaeological Laboratory of Human Bones at Zhengzhou University's School of History, many secrets of the ancestors from the Shuanghuai Tree Site, which dates back over 5,000 years, have been revealed. "The Shuanghuai Tree Site has unearthed the first case in China where a difficult childbirth death may have been caused by factors such as a large fetus or abnormal fetal position, providing important references for the study of ancient Chinese reproductive health issues," said Professor Zhou Yawei of Zhengzhou University's School of History.
Established in 2014, the laboratory houses over 12,000 ancient human resources from the Yellow River Basin, making it the largest and most extensive anthropological laboratory