Archaeologists have discovered nearly 200 boat-shaped coffins dating from between the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), in Chengdu, Sichuan province.
Ancient boat-shaped coffins found in Sichuan Two workers at the site where a boat-shaped coffin is unearthed.
They found the coffins after digging an area the size of two soccer fields in Shuangyuan village in Dawang town, Qingbaijiang district of Chengdu.
Lying in the center of the area was the largest coffin buried more than 2 meters below the ground. The coffin was carved out of a tree and sealed with mud.
A large amount of bronze ware was found in the coffins, including cicadas, tigers and dragons, said Wang Tianyou, an archaeologist with the Chengdu Cultural Relic Archaeology and Research Institute.
In 2000, archeologists from his institute found lots of boat-shaped coffins in the Commercial Street in downtown Chengdu. The coffins are believed to belong to the kings of Shu during the Warring States Period. Shu was the ancient name of Sichuan.
According to Zhu Zhangyi, an archaeologist and deputy chief of the Jinsha Site Museum in Chengdu, boat-shaped coffins were very popular in Sichuan during the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period.
The exhibition will travel to the Shanghai Museum in June, and the museum is inviting suggestions on what the 101st object should be. Historic visit for museum
Crerar says when viewers compare objects representing different cultures, they will find similarities in many cases.
"What it showcases are universal concerns and the needs of humanity that are manifested in different parts of the world, in different times, but in a very similar way."
Yan Zhi, the exhibition's co-curator from the National Museum of China, says the format of A History of the World series inspired Chinese museum curators to make use of their collections, including the use of digital technology to better communicate with the public.
Fischer says the exhibition is a tangible highlight in a long-standing relationship between the two museums, which they hope to continue.
Crerar says there were around 7 million visitors to the British Museum in 2016 and about 5 percent were Chinese, which she calls "a significant proportion".
Chen Chengjun, deputy director of the National Museum of China, says that a catalog of Chinese artifacts in the British Museum is being compiled. He says that images of the featured objects have been finalized and Chinese and British experts are working on the text. He hopes that the volume will be published within the year.
It will be the third in an ongoing publishing project called Selected Ancient Chinese Objects in Overseas Museums.
The National Museum of China reaches out to leading museums worldwide, not only for exhibitions of their collections but also to collaborate with them on the publishing project.
It launched the first book on cultural relics in London's Victoria and Albert Museum in 2014, and a second one about the Chinese collection at Japan's Sen-oku Hakuko Kan Museum in 2016.