China’s first archaeological museum completes construction, to open soon in 2022
Published: Apr 17, 2022 07:26 PM
The Shaanxi Archaeology Museum Photo: Xinhua

The Shaanxi Archaeology Museum in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province Photo: Xinhua

Construction officially completed on China's first archaeological museum, the Shaanxi Archaeology Museum, on Saturday. The museum in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, where the famed Terracotta Warriors is located, is scheduled to be opened to the public soon in 2022, according to a Saturday press release that the Shaanxi Academy of Archaeology sent to the Global Times.

Co-launched by the National Cultural Heritage Administration and the Shaanxi provincial government, the museum focuses on the research results of archaeological excavations in Shaanxi Province over the past century and the more than 200,000 cultural relics that have been unearthed, aiming to introduce Chinese history and the spirit of the Chinese nation to the world.

The museum has an indoor exhibition area of 5,800 square meters and an outdoor exhibition area of 10,000 square meters. 

Cultural relics displayed in the Shaanxi Archaeology Museum Photo: Xinhua

Cultural relics displayed in the Shaanxi Archaeology Museum in Northwest China's Shaanxi ProvincePhoto: Xinhua

A total of 4,218 of the 5,215 cultural relics in the collection, accounting for 90 percent, are on display. Pottery figurines from the Mausoleum of Emperor Wen of Han from the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC-771 BC) and the epitaph of famed calligrapher Yan Zhenqing from the Tang Dynasty (618-907) will be presented to the public for the first time, according to a report from CCTV.

Sun Zhouyong, deputy head of the Shaanxi Academy of Archaeology and the curator of the museum, told the Global Times on Saturday that the museum focuses on the development of Chinese archaeology as its main thread, so all of the displayed cultural relics are introduced alongside the background of their unearthed sites so that the public can have a deeper understanding of the field of archaeology.

Media reported that many of the displayed relics have been restored and are being protected using new techniques and advanced technology. For example, wooden figurines from the Zhou Dynasty (1046BC-771BC) were able to be excavated in whole through the use of liquid gypsum, a soil conditioner. This method was also used to move the chariot and horse pits of the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC-771 BC) and the mural tombs of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) to the museum as complete "packages." 

The Shaanxi Archaeology Museum includes specimen rooms for pottery figurines, ceramics, murals, sculpture, metal works and building materials, an archaeological content center that includes a digital center and various archaeological contents such as texts, pictures, videos and stone inscriptions, and a public archaeological center that allows visitors to excavate their own objects using ancient techniques at simulated archaeological sites.

With advanced equipment and technical know-how, the Science and Technology Protection Center at the museum conducts research on the protection and restoration of cultural relics mainly unearthed in Shaanxi Province. Some working areas are open to the public, and tourists can see the restoration process of cultural relics through workshops so as to deepen their understanding of the cultural relic protection work.