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Sichuan, Chongqing Develop Cool Techs to Support Archaeological Excavation

By JIEYU WANGTAN, KAILONGICHONGQING|Mar 25,2021

On March 20, at the work progress meeting on the “Archaeological China” project, Chinese archaeologists announced that some new major discoveries were made at the Sanxingdui archaeological site. They have found six new sacrificial pits and unearthed more than 500 items. Again, the site amazes the world.

Cultural relics Sanxingdui archaeological site

The archaeological site’s integrated excavation platform, which played a pivotal role in the excavation, is co-developed by the Sichuan Provincial Cultural Relics and Archeology Research Institute and CETCCQ. Many cool techs were first applied in the field of archeology.

Located in the National Cultural Relics Protection Equipment Industry Base, Nan’an District, CETCCQ has engaged in the field of smart cultural relics for many years.

“Since the beginning of last year, we’ve been working with the Sichuan Provincial Cultural Relics and Archeology Research Institute to tailor high-tech facilities for archaeological excavation at the Sanxingdui Ruins site,” said the head of CETCCQ, the integrated excavation platform for the archaeological site co-developed by the two sides, consisting of an archaeological excavation cabin, an on-site archaeological lab, a cultural relics emergency protection room, a cultural relics restoration lab, and an instrument analysis lab ensures high quality and high level of archaeological work.

Ivory, dating back about thousands of years, can be easily deformed by moisture loss after being exposed. Therefore, appropriate protection of ivory becomes a global challenge. The nitrogen-filled protection box independently developed by CETCCQ was first applied in the excavation. The box is 1.9 meters long, 0.6 meters wide, and 0.5 meters high. Archaeologists put ivories in the box after appropriately cleaning them, protecting them, and other organic matters sensitive to temperature and humidity.

The archaeological community has highly appraised the platform. Wang Wei, President of Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Science (IA CASS), said in an interview that the joint participation in the excavation and study of the Sanxingdui Ruins site by multiple disciplines and institutions, together with the first-class archaeological excavation shelter, working cabin and lab facilities, is the exploration and practice of building archaeology with “Chinese characteristics, Chinese style, and Chinese manner,” forming a new model of preventive protection for archaeological excavation sites.

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