Olympic Construction Unearths Ancient Treasure Trove – Jim Yardley

From the New York Times:

08Arch600.1Building the new China usually entails digging up the old China. Construction zones across the country are uncovering so many antiquities that it might be considered a golden era for archaeology ” except that sites and antiquities are often simply demolished by bulldozers or looted.

“There are two enemies of antiquity protection,” said Xu Pingfang, president of the China Archaeological Society. “Construction is one. Thieves are the others. They know what they want, and they destroy the rest.”

The Olympic site seems to be an example of how China’s antiquities protection system should work. Construction supervisors and archaeologists have collaborated for four years, conducting excavations and restoring three Taoist temples ” including one near the National Stadium, the main Olympic venue, that undoubtedly will become a familiar sight to television viewers during the summer Games.

But elsewhere in China, archaeologists are often in a losing race against bulldozers. [Full text]


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