India, Egypt to share newest archaeological findings at global forum in China
Published: Sep 14, 2023 10:52 PM
Photo: Lou Kang/GT

Photo: Lou Kang/GT

A group of 16 scholars from various ancient civilizations that flourished along great rivers, such as India, Egypt and Russia, will visit China to participate in a forum and share their latest findings in archaeological research. 

The 2023 World Great Rivers Civilizations Forum will be held from Saturday to Monday in Zhengzhou, the capital city of Central China's Henan province.

The forum, themed with "Ancient Civilization Studies in a Global Perspective," will feature keynote speeches by experts on topics such as archaeological culture, settlement archaeology, environmental, scientific and agricultural archaeology, as well as the sociology of ancient societies. 

Over 40 Chinese archaeologists will also join the academic discussion.

Henan Province has a long history that can be traced back to nearly 4,000 years ago, when the Shang Dynasty (c.1600BC-1046BC) was established there. 

Its geographical location near the Yellow River also nurtured the roots of Chinese agricultural culture that later spread to other parts of the country. The Zhengzhou segment of the Yellow River is broad and grand, reflecting the splendor of the ancient civilization.

In 2019, China also stressed the ecological protection and high-quality development of the Yellow River basin as a major national strategy for Zhengzhou, as Henan Province faces some challenges in protecting the Yellow River, such as the fragile ecological environment.

Several major ancient civilizations in the world, including ancient Egyptian, Babylonian and Indian civilizations, all emerged in large river basins, Wang Wei, chairman of the Chinese Archaeology Council and also chief expert for China's Project to Trace the Origins of Chinese Civilization, explained at a press conference held by China's Minis-try of Culture and Tourism this week.

"To study world civilizations, we should not only study a certain region, but also put these great cultures together and study them in a global context. This is the original intention of the forum," Wang said.

In addition, seeking a more comprehensive and transnational cooperation is also one of the main purposes of the forum. 

With the further advancement of the Belt and Road Initiative over the past decade, Chinese archaeologists have frequently gone abroad, carrying out 36 joint archaeological projects involving more than 20 countries in Asia, Afri-ca, Europe and the Americas, according to experts.

Chinese archaeology has participated in unveiling the historical mysteries of ancient civilizations such as the Egyptian, Indian, Mayan and Persian civilizations, and has cooperated with countries along both of the land and maritime Silk Roads. 

"We have also established long-term cooperative relationships with more than 40 foreign scientific research insti-tutions, museums, and universities to enhance the forum's international influence," Wang said.

"We very much hope to make the forum an important display platform for archaeological achievements as well as an international academic platform to enhance exchanges between scholars from various countries," Wang said, suggesting that the forum will be a continuous international event in the future. 

The forum will invite about 360 guests, 60 foreign and 300 domestic.

After the forum closes, a Yellow River Culture Month series of activities will continue to present cultural events, during which a total of 28 fun events will be carried out including poetry forums, chorus weeks and street dance competitions.

An international short video competition will also be held to promote the Yellow River culture through creative transformation and innovative development.