The Faculty of Arts at UBC signed a 10-year partnership with the Institute of Archeology at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences this week, an agreement that will allow UBC Anthropology students to learn field skills at a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Anyang, China.
The site is at Yinxu, the central area inhabited by the last nine Shang Kings, circa 1250 – 1050 B.C. The Shang was the earliest literate civilization in East Asia.
Professor John Hepburn (Vice President Research and International at UBC), on behalf of Dean Gage Averill, and Professor Wang Wei (Director of the Institute of Archaeology at the CASS ) signed the agreement at a ceremony in Beijing on Sept. 26th, one attended by senior members of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and scholars from the Institute of Archaeology.
This agreement marks the first time the Institute of Archeology has partnered with a foreign university, said UBC Anthropology professor Jing Zhichun, who also attended the signing ceremony.
“(This agreement will) create a lot of opportunities for UBC students and scholars, including field school, field archaeological investigation, laboratory analysis of excavated human and animal remains and artifacts such as bronzes, jades, and pottery, museum exhibitions, and exchanges of students and scholars,” said Prof. Jing.
UBC Anthropology students are familiar with the site. Prof. Jing led nine undergraduate and graduate students through field training at Yinxu from May 13 to June 20, 2012, unearthing pottery kilns, bones and artifacts of the Shang.
Organized through Go Global and the Department of Anthropology, students in the Archeological Field School learned how to excavate and carry out replicative experiments of bronze casting and pottery making.
The highlights for this trip are featured in this photo slideshow below.