A critical section of the transcontinental railroad is shown in red.

Popular Archaeology: What Archaeologists Are Learning About the Lives of the Chinese Immigrants Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad

The desert of far northwestern Utah stretches 60 miles from the arid border of Nevada to the saline-crusted shores of the Great Salt Lake. The terrain is exceedingly flat, punctuated only by the intermittent dry arroyo, rocky hill or volcanic cinder cone. Horned lizards and jack rabbits dart between thorny shrubs and scrawny box elder trees. Apart from the occasional cattle ranch or sheep-herding camp, the landscape appears desolate and lonely, forgotten in the expanse of geologic time.

Popular Archaeology: International cooperation sought on archaeology

Enhanced efforts will be made in China to encourage international cooperation in archaeology, and national-level plans for joint research are being drafted, the National Cultural Heritage Administration announced on Friday through a general blueprint centered on archaeological development during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25).

According to the blueprint, two to three Chinese archaeological research bases will be set up overseas by 2025, and five to 10"demonstration-level" cross-border projects are expected to be nurtured by then.

A file photo shows an archaeologist excavating the Tung Wan Tsai site in Ma Wan in 1997.

Popular Archaeology: An ancient group of Hong Kong inhabitants loved their seafood, to an extreme

A study published in The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology in late February found that a small population of neolithic Hongkongers were highly reliant on fish.

Christina Cheung, a researcher at Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium who wrote the study, said these people were so reliant on seafood that they probably did not rely much on farming for food or hunting land animals.

Chinese archaeologists say they have found the legendary Jixia Academy from the Warring States period.

POPULAR ARCHAEOLOGY: Archaeologists discover centre for greatest Chinese philosophers during Warring States period from over 2,000 years ago

As chaos reigned during the Warring States period (475-221BC), rulers across ancient China turned to intellectuals to find a way out of perpetual war, and the Jixia Academy in the state of Qi stood out for its power to attract the greatest Chinese thinkers of the time.


The institute used to be a place relegated to the historical record; experts believed it probably existed, but little was known about Jixia and there was no definitive proof that it was a real place.

The Chinese government revealed its top archaeology finds from 2021

POPULAR ARCHAEOLOGY: Chinese government reveals its most significant archaeological breakthroughs of 2021

For Chinese archaeology, 2021 was a banner year highlighted by the global breakthrough that was the beautifully preserved ancient gold masks discovered at Sanxingdui.

Last week, the Institute of Archaeology under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences announced what it believed were the most important archaeology finds in China last year. While most of the sites were discovered before 2021, they all featured remarkable excavation finds from last year.

The discoveries help paint a picture of ancient Chinese society across the millennia.

Flat throwing stones with sharpened corners unearthed in Saitama.

POPULAR ARCHAEOLOGY: Artifacts bear hallmarks of prototypes of ninja weapons

RANZAN, Saitama Prefecture--Artifacts labeled as “groundbreaking discoveries” from the ruins of structures associated with warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s Siege of Odawara in 1590 could have been prototypes of ninja weapons.

Akihiro Iwata, an archaeologist and curator at the Saitama Prefectural Ranzan Historical Museum here, said the flat stones and clay balls may well have been the forerunners of “shuriken” throwing stars and “makibishi” caltrops that later made up ninja arsenals.

Archeologists at the 40,000-year-old ochre processing site in northern China.

POPULAR ARCHAEOLOGY: ‘A new culture’: discovery in China reveals ochre processing in east Asia up to 41,000 years ago

When did populations of Homo sapiens first arrive in China and what happened when they encountered the Denisovans or Neanderthals who lived there? A new study in Nature by an international team of researchers opens a window into hunter-gatherer lifestyles 40,000 years ago. Archaeological excavations at the site of Xiamabei in the Nihewan Basin of northern China have revealed the presence of innovative behaviors and unique toolkits.

 Stunning underground murals found in central China are believed to be hundreds of years old

POPULAR ARCHAEOLOGY: China’s golden age of archaeology becomes a national obsession

"A high-profile letter sent in October 2021 told us everything we needed to know about the state of modern Chinese archaeology.
Sent by Chinese President Xi Jinping to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the Yangshao culture – considered the start of modern Chinese archaeology – the letter called for “developing archaeology with Chinese features, style and ethos” so the field could contribute to “national rejuvenation”.

Pages

SEAA Membership

Join or Renew

Membership can be considered for any individual, professional or non-professional, doing research related to the archaeology of East Asia (China, Korea, Japan) or otherwise interested in the field. Please click the button above to sign up or renew now.