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 (
Aw shucks! How oyster omelettes won a war
There might be something fishy about the story of how oyster omelets helped the Chinese win a war, but there’s no denying the eternal pull of the humble mollusk. A street food staple in Taiwan and the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen, legend has it that a Chinese general named Koxinga created the snack to save his troops from starvation. It was 1661 and China was defending Taiwan from the Dutch, whose battle tactics were to limit the Chinese army’s food supply by hiding rice. Desperate for food, Koxinga is said to have plucked oysters from the beach, coated them in potato starch and deep-fried them for his men. The army was saved from hunger and later won the war against the Dutch. While the
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. 
Taiwan’s controversial Chiang Kai-shek statues
Statues depicting Taiwan’s former leader Chiang Kai-shek continue to generate controversy. Chiang fled to Taiwan after his Nationalist troops lost a civil war on the Chinese mainland to Communist forces in 1949. While some revere him for his anti-communist stance, others recall Chiang’s brutal imposition of martial law and purge of thousands of opponents. More than 70 years later, there is intense debate about Chiang’s legacy, as statues are being removed under a law meant to address issues of the island’s authoritarian past.   
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
The coronavirus crisis is a human failure, says author of ‘Sapiens’
While most people alive today have never experienced an event like the coronavirus pandemic, it is not the first time humanity has come face to face with a global contagion. Historian Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens and Homo Deus, answers questions from the South China Morning Post on how the coronavirus pandemic poses unprecedented challenges in biometric surveillance, governance and global cooperation. He also proposes five steps the world should take moving forward. Q: You wrote “if we are indeed bringing famine, plague and war under control …” in Homo Deus. Given that the spread of the coronavirus pandemic continues unabated, do you still believe mankind has largely reined in plagu
The secret links between Chinese and Thai food
Chinese and Thai cultures are linked for more than just their love of food. They have also been trading cooking styles and ingredients for generations. Traders from both regions often traveled between the two countries, bringing spices and cooking techniques to the other. You can taste it in Thai cooking today. We meet Chinnapatt Chongtong, founder of the Chili Paste Tour and a Thai food expert, in Bangkok to find out where these links come from and the Chinese culinary traditions hidden in plain sight in Thailand.