March 1, 2024, 8:17 pm

FT Online

2019-10-21 02:27:16 BdST

Erlitou Relic Museum opens in central China

The Erlitou Relic Museum opened Saturday in Luoyang city in central China's Henan Province, unveiling the history and culture of ancient China's first recorded dynasty of Xia (2070-1600 B.C.).

Covering an area of 32,000 square meters, the museum exhibits over 2,000 items, including bronze wares, pottery wares and jade wares.

Construction of the museum cost 630 million yuan (about 89 million U.S. dollars).

The Erlitou Relics date back to 3,500 to 3,800 years ago in ancient China's late Xia or early Shang (1600-1046 B.C.) dynasties.

Discovered in 1959 in Luoyang by historian Xu Xusheng, Erlitou was identified by Chinese archaeologists as the relics of the capital city of the middle and late Xia Dynasty.

Over the past 60 years, archaeologists have excavated over 10,000 items out of a total area of 40,000 square meters from the site.

Zhao Haitao from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) Erlitou archaeological team, said that China's earliest palace complex, bronze ware workshop and urban road network were all found at the site.

The museum has three display areas where visitors can experience and better understand the archaeological achievements of the Xia Dynasty, and probe into the history and culture of the Xia Dynasty via various kinds of projects, such as virtual reality, embossment and sand tables.

Li Boqian, a professor with the School of Archaeology and Museology of Peking University, said the Erlitou Relic Museum presents daily utensils, manufacturing tools and decorations for visitors to understand the social development, history and culture of the Xia Dynasty.

The museum will help people around the world learn about ancient Chinese history and culture, said Liu Yuzhu, director of China's National Cultural Heritage Administration, at the opening ceremony.

In addition, the museum will become a demonstration site for the protection, preservation and exhibition of China's major cultural heritage sites and a research center for the origin of Chinese civilization.

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