Department of Prehistoric Archaeology, IA CASS Participates in Archaeological Investigation in Chifeng, Inner Mongolia.
A team of researchers from the Department of Prehistoric Archaeology, IA CASS recently participated in a six-day archaeological field investigation in Chifeng, Inner Mongolia. The investigation took place between August 20 and August 25, 2009, with the aim of broadening academic perspectives and promoting academic exchange.
The team were welcomed on their arrival in Chifeng by Liu Guoxiang, a research fellow at the Institute of Archaeology (CASS). Liu Guoxiang accompanied the visiting researchers on a visit to the work station at Chifeng University which is being used by the Institute of Archaeology's team in Inner Mongolia, where they were shown samples of prehistoric artifacts from the Xiaohexi, Xinglongwa, Zhaobaogou, Hongshan and Xiaoheyan cultures which had been unearthed in western Liaoning. The researchers engaged in a lively discussion of the chronology of the Xiaohexi culture, the relationship between the Hongshan and Xiaoheyan cultures, the functions of Xinglongwa culture stone artifacts, and how to further the in-depth study of excavated artifacts.
The research team went on to visit the Weijiawopu site in the outskirts of Chifeng, which is being jointly excavated by the Inner Mongolia Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute and Jilin University's Research Centre for Chinese Frontier Archaeology. Weijiaowopu was the site of a Hongshan settlement and its excavation is one of the most important fieldwork projects conducted on a Hongshan site in the Chifeng area in the past ten years since the excavation of the Hongshan village at Xinglonggou in Aohan Banner. At the excavation site, the team met with Professor Zhao Binfu from Jilin University, Jing Zhongwei,the researcher from Jilin University who is presiding over the excavation, and Dang Yu from the Inner Mongolia Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute. The visiting researchers and their hosts went on to exchange their views on various aspects of Hongshan culture, such as the distribution of their settlements, the structure of their buildings and their custom of abandoning residences.
The team also visited the excavation of the Lower Xiajiadian site in the village of Erdaojingzi near Chifeng. The site is a rare example of a well-preserved Lower Xiajiadian settlement and its excavation is being presided over by Cao Jian'en, a research fellow from the Inner Mongolia Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute. Sun Jinsong, a staff member from the Inner Mongolia Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute, gave the team an on-site, in-depth account of the site's key archaeological features.
After completing their investigation in Chifeng, the team travelled to the Bairin Left Banner, where they were met by research fellow Dong Xinlin (IA CASS). Dong Xinlin accompanied them on visits to the site of the Liao Upper Capital (Shangjing), the Liao Upper Capital Museum, the Liao mausoleum ruins and the Liao Zuzhou city ruins. Thanks to Dong Xinlin's detailed explanations, the visiting researchers were able to learn more about the history of the Liao Dynasty and the archaeological projects and research being conducted on Liao Dynasty sites.
During the course of the field investigation, the researchers gained a first-hand experience of the landscapes and environmental conditions of the prehistoric communities located in the agricultural, agro-pastoral and pastoral areas in and around Chifeng and were able to learn more about the origins and development of the prehistoric cultures living in China's northern regions.
Throughout their visit, the team received a warm welcome from authorities from Chifeng University, the Hongshan District Culture Bureau, the Bairin Left Banner Party Committee and other government departments. (Translated by Kelly McGuire)