Skip to comments.Researchers to Seek Origin of Ancient Chinese Civilization
Posted on 07/21/2002 1:23:15 PM PDT by vannrox
BEIJING, March 29 (Xinhuanet) -- A grand archaeological project will be launched in China in the coming five years, aiming to seek the origin of ancient Chinese civilization, the world's only ancient civilization that has been developing for 5,000 years without interruption.
Researchers will try to find answers to such questions as whether Huangdi and Yandi, two legendary ancestors of the Chinese nation, really existed in history, and whether there were any Chinese characters even older than the inscriptions on animal bones and tortoise shells discovered in the famous Yin Ruins, which date back to over 3,000 years.
"Why Chinese civilization can last for 5,000 years, while other ancient civilizations in the world fell into oblivion no matter how brilliant they had been in history? The origin, development process, context and mechanism of ancient Chinese civilization are the most important subjects that archaeology should explain," said Li Xueqin, director of the Institute of History under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).
A research center for ancient civilizations has recently been set up under the CASS, inviting more than 200 researchers in this field from China, the United States, Britain, Germany, France and other countries.
In order to study the origin and development process of the Chinese nation, archaeologists will extract genes from the remains of ancients, found in the areas which, according to historical documents and legends, were occupied by Huangdi and Yandi tribes 4, 000 to 5,000 years ago.
The 5,000-year-old genes will be compared with genes extracted from people's remains of Qin and Han dynasties (about 1,000 years ago), and from people today in various regions of China.
Wang Wei, deputy director of the newly founded research center, and one of Chinese leading researchers in ancient civilization, said the project will be focused on the period from 3,000 B.C. to 221 B.C.
The primarily selected subjects of the project include: culture and society of the period of Huangdi and Yandi, origin of Chinese characters, ancient environmental change of the Xia, Shang and Zhou dynasties (from 2070 B.C. to 220 B.C.), origin of agriculture and animal husbandry, and development of the handicraft industry.
Origin of city, relationship between wars and civilization, origin of religious beliefs, and comparison between ancient Chinese civilization and other ancient civilizations will also be covered in the project, according to Wang.
Some related subjects are ancient music, painting, sculpture, astronomy, calendar, mathematics and metal mining and smelting from the prehistoric period to Xia, Shang and Zhou dynasties.
The grand project will involve researchers from over 20 branches of learning including archaeology, philology, anthropology, history of art, linguistics, religious study, astronomy, genetics, remote sensing and radar detection.
The origin of Chinese civilization has long been a complicated and confusing problem in China's academic circles. In the early 20 century, some scholars in Western countries argued that Chinese civilization originated from the West.
This theory was later refuted by a series of world famous archaeological discoveries in China, which all suggest that Chinese civilization originated in the Chinese mainland, said Zhu Naicheng, a researcher of the Institute of Archaeology under the CASS.
Last year, Chinese scientists and researchers completed a key national scientific and technological research program after five years of hard work. They published a 1,200-year chronological list of China's ancient dynasties of Xia, Shang and Zhou, solving a number of major historical problems that remained unsolved for thousands of years.
Experts say the new archaeological discoveries, dating back 4, 000 to 5,000 years, at the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow and Yangtze rivers and in north China, as well as previous studies, have provided a solid basis for the research into ancient Chinese civilization.
Would that be 5762 years to be more precise?
You mean these folks?
Yes. I have read a number of books about them. The best two are: Tarim Mummies, Victor Mair and The Munmmies Of Urumchi, Elizabeth Barber.
gee imagine that.
They weren't 'crossing,' they lived there. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of these mummies out there. This region, in which the mummies were found, is twice the size of Texas.
Total nonsense. Their claim to fame is that some of them stayed home.
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