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Where history comes alive

Updated: 2023-05-11 06:20 ( China Daily )
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Tourists visit the Panlongcheng Site Museum in Wuhan with the guidance of a tour guide. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Between 2018 and 2022, five archaeological excavation projects, including Diaoyucheng Site in Chongqing, Erlitou Site in Henan province, and the Yinxu Ruins, also in Henan, were successively selected among the Top 10 New Archaeological Discoveries in China.

The volunteer team had significantly expanded, from 595 people in 2018 to 2,424 in 2022. Also, 31 out of the 55 parks had established dedicated operational institutions, employing a total of 8,104 staff members.

For instance, the Shangjing Site of the Liao Dynasty (916-1125) in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, now also a national archaeological site park, has been conducting urban and field archaeology courses for the past five years, training 55 team leaders.

Additionally, the parks have accepted 2,103 interns and engaged in 2,464 business exchanges, involving 73,200 participants, Li says.

There are still issues of uneven development among parks, Li points out. "Currently, the uneven development is mainly reflected in areas such as academic research, talent pool, financial income and expenditure, park publicity and social services, all to varying degrees," Li says.

Li suggests paying attention to the professionalization of workforce development. Currently, there are 8,104 employees in the 55 parks, with only 1,097 having a professional background, accounting for just 14 percent of the total.

"It is necessary to increase efforts in developing a specialized workforce, in order to effectively guarantee the specialized characteristics of the archaeological sites," Li says.

Li also suggests that on the basis of insisting on protection first, the related parties should actively explore the integrated development of "heritage sites plus tourism, agriculture, ecology and urban renewal".

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