Chinese and Uzbekistan archaeologists team up for Silk Road excavation
From：chinadaily Writer：Ma Lie Date：2016-09-29
Chinese and Uzbekistan archaeologists have together made conspicuous achievements in archaeological research on the ancient Silk Road over the past three years.
They announced their archaeological progress at the ongoing International Seminar on the Belt and Road Initiative held on Sept 26 and 27 in Xi'an, the starting point of the ancient road linking China, central Asia and Europe and the capital of Shaanxi province in Northwest China. They said they discovered a large number of new sites, including some of the ancient nomadic culture of large-scale settlement sites, to fill the gaps in previous research.
Wang Jianxin, professor of Northwest University based on Xi'an, led his team to start the archaeological research from 2009 to 2013.
"The archaeological research on the Silk Road made by the university in 1938 when the tomb of Zhang Qian (164-114 BC), the founder of the Punctured Trip of the Silk Road, was excavated with the support of modern science," Wang said.
According to Wang, the archaeological research went through three stages. The first stage was from 1937 to 1949, when archaeology projects of the Silk Road started and the foundation was laid. The second stage was from 1949 to 2000, when the archaeology of the Silk Road developed rapidly and highlighted its characteristics. And the third stage is from 2000 to now, as the university is trying to strengthen the discipline of archaeology and lead in academics.
Since 2000, the archaeologists at Northwest University have not only focused on the archaeological research on the northwestern region of China, an important region along the Silk Road, but also opened up a new realm of the international archaeology of the Silk Road, and extended the archaeological research to central Asia, the professor said.
From 2009 to 2013, archaeologists from home and abroad investigated the historical remains in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan three times.
"Particularly, after President Xi Jinping proposed the Silk Road Initiative, the university has strengthened the archaeology of the Silk Road and promoted the cooperation with the Archaeology Institute of Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences," Wang said.
Amridin Berdimurodov, director of the Institute of Archaeology, the Academy of Science of the Republic of Uzbekistan, said that his institute signed the project cooperation agreement with Northwest University on the archaeological research in December 2013, and they only had the chance to cooperate with foreign archaeologists after the country became independent.
During the past three years, the archaeologists from the two countries discovered one ancient settlement site of nomadic culture, more than 400 kinds of tombs and more than 10 residential sites in Uzbekistan's Samarqand.
Archaeologists from the two countries both considered that the archaeological work on the Silk Road greatly strengthened the understanding of the countries and peoples along the Silk Road, and will further help promote common prosperity and development.