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Opening lecture of the fifth “Archaeological Culture Month” held

APR . 17 2016

Peking University, Apr. 16, 2016: On April 6, with the opening lecture “Tracing the Marquis of Haihun-Majesty and Downfall of a King,” the fifth“Archaeological Culture Month” of Peking University kicked off at Lee Shao Kee Building. Professor Hang Kan, Dean of School of Archaeology and Museology, professor Hu Dongbo, associate professor Yang Zhefeng, and committee secretary Chen Fangjun attended this opening ceremony.

Professor Hang Kanfirst gave an opening speech, in which he introduced the main content of this "Archaeological Culture Month”, and looked back on the its preceding development. He wished more and more people could focus attention on and understand archaeology, which is also the core aim of this activity.

In the following lecture section, professor Yang Zhefeng gave a profile of the Marquis of Haihun (Liu He) and introduced the finds unearthed at  the Marquis’ royal tomb. Ascending the throne and demoted to the rank of marquis, Liu He had been through vicissitudes of life, as Yang remarked. As for the unearthed finds, Yang gave a substantial illustration by showing photographs of the excavated artifacts, including gold and silver items, jade jewelry, colored glazes, bronzes, chariots, and other items.

Prof. Yang Zhefeng

Then professor Hu Dongbo expounded on the preservation measures applied in the excavation of the Marquis’ tomb. He hailed those unearthed finds as the “treasury of relics research.” Among the preservation aspects he introduced were extraction of relics, emergency protection and eroding research under different buried environment. He also illuminated the environmental control and remains research after excavation by examples, which enabled students to have a basic understanding of preservation work of unearthed relics and the tomb.


Prof. Hu Dongbo 

This opening lecture ended with a final Q&A section, in which the lecturers and audience are all actively engaged. Bookmarks of “Archeological Culture Month” are given as special gifts to the audience.
Background info:

Being a historically unique and mysterious figure, the marquis died at the age of 33 and was the only victim in Chinese history who changed identities from a king to an emperor, stayed in the post for only 27 days, and was then dethroned to a king and then a marquis as a result of a political power struggle.
The marquis' tomb is currently the largest found, the best preserved with most abundant cultural treasures and most typical tomb structure of the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC-AD 8), then the most prosperous country in the world.

Written by: Wang Yuqing
Edited by: Li Ruiqi
Source: School of Archaeology and Museology