Chinese history

Chinese history

Major archeology site discoveries rekindle theories that alien civilization once roamed Earth
A recent discovery at a famous archeology site in China has rekindled fantastical theories that it was once home to a civilization not from earth.  A recent finding of more than 500 artifacts in Sanxingdui, a Bronze Age archeology site in central Sichuan province, included the notable discovery of a gold mask that a priest may have worn.  The mask carries wide-eyes and a deep nose, similar to earlier discoveries of bronze human statues, fueling speculation of alien inhabitants because the features look “foreign.”  In a question list compiled by the state broadcaster CCTV, some people said those bronze face masks looked more like movie characters in Avatar than Han Chinese people.  “Does tha
The daunting task of repairing antique Chinese texts
Over the past decade, a millennial fascinated with rare books has painstakingly restored dozens of frayed, rotten and torn manuscripts – all by hand. Lian Chengchun, 32, is one of a dwindling number of people who make a living by fixing ancient Chinese books. China classifies antique books as those printed before 1912. According to one report, there are an estimated 50 million in China, and only about 20 million have been preserved, creating a daunting task for antique book fixers like Lian. “Some books have rotted, some are aged, some have water damage, and some cannot even be opened properly,” Lian says. “Some books are especially hard to fix, such as ones that are infested with bugs or h
Big archeology find at home of China’s terracotta army
The home of China’s terracotta army has once again revealed a treasure trove of archeologically significant artifacts, this time at an airport expansion project and the construction of a new subway line.  Over the past six months, archeologists at the sites in Xian, one of China’s oldest cities and its ancient capital for about 1,100 years, have discovered thousands of artifacts dating back centuries.  A project to expand the Xianyang International Airport has turned into an archeologist’s dream since the project began in July, revealing 4,600 artifacts, including 3,500 tombs.   At the subway, which covered an area with dense tombs dating back to the Sui dynasty (581-605) and Tang dynasty (
Who are the young Hongkongers reviving Hanfu, the traditional Chinese clothing
Veronica Kam Pui-ka blends in nicely in a shopping mall in Hong Kong that was transformed into an ancient Chinese street scene. Kam looked the part by dressing in Hanfu, traditional Chinese clothing. She wore a long flowing robe with sweeping sleeves, a heavily embroidered gold and purple silk skirt and ornate pins in her hair.  Kam was attending a Hanfu culture exhibition. But this is not the only time she pulls on the ancient outfit. A Hanfu enthusiast, Kam wears ancient clothing all year round and not just on special occasions. Whether relaxing at home, working, or going out shopping with friends, Kam is in Hanfu. “I’ve loved traditional Chinese clothing since I was a child and have alway
Giant buddha rediscovered in China with a high rise apartment built on top of it
A large headless statue of Buddha was discovered in southwest China last week – and it was used to prop up a high-rise apartment building. It is currently unknown when the statue was built, with rumors circulating that it is almost 1,000 years old. Professionals were unwilling to date the statue at this point. The Buddha, which was discovered in the city of Chongqing, is nearly 30ft tall and is built on the surface of a cliff that is extremely difficult for the public to access. Earlier last week, officials removed dead tree leaves and household trash from the structure. With leaves cleared from it, it enabled residents – for the first time - to see the historic statue that was literally und
China Trends: remnants of a sacked palace, and athletics become part of entrance exams
Every Tuesday and Thursday, China Trends takes the pulse of the Chinese social media to keep you in the loop of what the world’s biggest internet population is talking about. A reminder of past humiliation Every Chinese schoolchild knows the story of the Old Summer Palace. The palace was built throughout the 18th and early 19th centuries and featured a beautiful staircase leading into the main entrance overlooking a lavish garden. Located on Beijing’s outskirts, it was the perfect retreat for Chinese emperors looking for a respite from the bustling capital. In 1860 it was burned to the ground and looted by French and British troops during the Second Opium War. It has become a source of nati
English construction worker found Chinese relic while clearing out his garage
An English construction worker has found a valuable Chinese artifact initially thought to be a “teapot” while clearing out family belongings from a garage during lockdowns to fight the spread of Covid-19. The 51-year-old from Derbyshire in the UK said he was about to send the item to a charity shop before discovering it was an 18th-century imperial wine ewer. It fetched a life-changing sum at an auction this week. 
Why Beijing constantly talks about China’s ‘century of humiliation’
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China. In Europe, the years from 1839 to 1949 are often seen as a period of mass destruction and triumphant progress, world wars and technological revolutions. In China today, the 110-year period is often summarized in one word: humiliation. Once an unrivaled regional hegemon, China was beleaguered by endemic corruption, internal rebellion and ailing economy while being subjected to bullying by foreign powers and forced to cede territories to countries including the British Empire. But this painful chapter of history is not relegated to the history book.  Calli
How an American officer helped modernize China’s Navy
The modernization of China’s military is widely perceived as a threat in the United States today. Yet some 135 years ago, one US naval officer traveled to the Middle Kingdom to help the country develop its prowess at sea – and it did not end well. Philo Norton McGiffin left the US in 1885 as a naive but determined 24-year-old to serve the Imperial Chinese Navy and was wounded in action. After eight years of intensive officer training, McGiffin failed to obtain a commission in the US Navy because of the lack of available ships in its tiny fleet. So instead, he traveled to China to seek employment fighting for the country in the Sino-French War (1884-85). “McGiffin is an important figure in t
Historical hat trick teaches kids about social distancing
An ancient Chinese hat has become the latest weapon in the fight against coronavirus after an elementary school in eastern China used them to teach its children about social distancing.  State news agency Xinhua reported that the school in Hangzhou got the children to make their own versions of the headgear worn by officials in the era of the Song dynasty, which ruled China between 960 and 1279.  The hats are distinctive because of the long wings that stick out from each side, forcing the wearers to have a 3ft bubble around themselves.  One legend says that the first Song emperor ordered his ministers to wear hats with two long wings on the sides so that they could not talk among themselves