In the height of the summer of 2010, we come together to celebrate a red-letter day for the Institute of Archaeology : namely, the 60th anniversary of its foundation. In the sixty years since its foundation, the Institute has overcome countless trials and tribulations and continued to grow thanks to the sound leadership of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and its predecessor, the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences, and the guidance of the older generation of Chinese archaeologists such as Professor Xia Nai.
In its early days, the Institute only consisted of a dozen or so staff members and a couple of fieldwork teams. Over the years, it has expanded dramatically and now boasts four research departments, three research centres (the Centre for Scientific Archaeology, the Cultural Heritage Conservation and Research Centre and the Centre for Archaeological Data and Information), an editorial office, and over twenty archaeological fieldwork teams. The Institute's multidisciplinary scope, diverse research methods, excellent team of staff and wealth of archaeological achievements make it a first-class national-level institute for archaeological research in China.
The Institute of Archaeology's course of development over the past sixty years can be summed up in three words : laborious, steady and rewarding. The past sixty years have been laborious due to the numerous hardships encountered during the national development, and the Institute could not just stay on the sidelines. Turning it into what it is today was an arduous task, one fraught with difficulties.
The development of the Institute can be said to have been steady due to the rigorous and realistic approach at research work under the sound leadership of Professor Xia Nai among others. By tackling each task one step at a time over a period of six decades, the Institute slowly became the institute we know today.
Finally, the Institute's development could be deemed rewarding due to the wealth of achievements attained over the past sixty years despite the various difficulties encountered along the way. These achievements can be seen in the sixty years' worth of excavation reports and research monograph, in museums across the country, in exhibitions such as the “The Archaeology of Chinese Civilization: Sixty Years of Achievements Since the Founding of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of Archaeology” at the Capital Museum and in the accompanying book “The Archaeology of Chinese Civilization” and similar publications.
As we celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the Institute of Archaeology, we should remember those government officials who played a role in the development of Chinese archaeology, such as the late Zhou Enlai and the late Guo Moruo. We must also remember the dearly departed torchbearers of our institute, such as the late Zheng Zhenduo, Yin Da, Liang Siyong and Xian Nai, as well as senior scholars such as the late Xu Xusheng, Guo Baojun, Huang Wenbi, Chen Mengjia, Yan Yan, Su Bingqi, An Zhimin, Chen Gongrou and Liu Guanmin, whose ingenuity, wisdom and devotion have done much to promote the cause of Chinese archaeology and have made an enormous contribution to the development of the Institute.
In addition, we would also like to thank the staff who have contributed to the development of the Institute. It is because of their collective efforts and dedication that the Institute has developed and achieved as much as it has. We should also thank those colleagues and heads of state department for cultural heritage administration as well as of local administrations throughout the country who have been all too eager to assist us and offer us support over the years. And finally, we would like to thank our colleagues who work for archaeological and cultural heritage organizations all over the country. Without your help and support, the Institute of Archaeology would not be what it is today.
Recalling those bygone days is an emotional experience and as we look to the future, we cannot help but feel a certain excitement for what lies ahead. Following in our predecessors' footsteps we will continue to promote solidarity amongst the staffs of Institute and those working for China's archaeology and cultural heritage all over the country, work hard and persevere against all odds to promote the continuous development of Chinese archaeology and make a greater contribution to the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
(Translated by Kelly McGuire)