This blog is an attempt to fill somewhat of a lacuna in online publications about cultural heritage protection in China.
What IS cultural heritage protection in China? Basically, it’s what archaeologists, historians, art historians, optimistic lawyers, optimistic students, hippies, authority-haters, and concerned citizens in general do to try and keep the archaeological record of China, that would be all 5000 years of history in material form, protected from destruction.
Why is there a lacuna in online publications about this issue? Basically because it’s too massive of an issue for any one New York Times or Washington Post article to cover in one go. That’s why I’m here. I want people to know about how endangered China’s archaeological record, the sum total of the physical remains of China’s 5000 year history , is in the modern world. I want the public to be as concerned about it as I am. I also want people to know about how much knowledge and information is contained in China’s archaeological record, knowledge that, contrary to what most people might think, is not wholly inaccessible to the average Joe
But why should you believe me? Who am I? What do I know about this issue, or about archaeology? Well, you should listen to me because I’m an archaeologist, by training, and hopefully soon, by profession. My college degree is in Archaeology, and my graduate degree is in Early China Studies, specifically, in the archaeology of ancient China. In addition, I have done an extensive amount of research on the topic of archaeological site looting in China, as well as the market for Chinese antiquities in the United States and Europe.
What I hope to create here is a place where information about the destruction, protection, and maintenance of China’s archaeological patrimony and cultural heritage can be gathered, viewed, distilled, and discussed. I’ll most likely be publishing a lot of my own thoughts and rants about this issue, but I encourage any and all feedback. By doing this, I hope to provide information on a subject that, as global attention becomes increasingly focused on Chinese-American relations, can be interesting, if not useful, to the public at large.