Art and Culture Part 3

Mysterious 3,000-year-old ‘sun altar’ discovered in northwest China

22 Jun, 2017

  • Archaeologists are raving about the “major” discovery of a huge sun altar in China’s northwest Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The Bronze Age altar dedicated to sun worship, was first discovered in 1993, but excavations did not begin in earnest until late last year. The excavations have now revealed that the structure has striking similarities to the kind of temples previously only seen much farther west on the Eurasian plains, reports. Sun temples were built by the nomadic tribes that once roamed the vast Eurasian steppe, however, no such temple has previously been discovered this far east.

Beijing strengthens protection of historical buildings


  • Beijing has strengthened protection of its historical buildings through relocation of residents and restoration to ensure the capital’s history and culture shines. This year, Xicheng and Dongcheng districts in the center of the city will take measures to relocate current residents from 26 historical buildings, such as ancient guild halls, temples, and former residences of historical figures. From 2016 to 2020, the two districts will complete the relocation of residents from and restoration of more than 80 heritage sites, according to their plans.

Calligraphy top icon of Chinese culture, WeChat data shows


  • Calligraphy is the most talked-about icon of Chinese culture, according to data from the instant messaging app WeChat. The WeChat Index, using big data technology, measures the popularity of key words on the app by quantifying the records of users’ searches and viewings. A comparison of key words of some of the most recognized symbols of Chinese culture shows that calligraphy is the most popular among them. For example, data from June 11 shows that the calligraphy score is nearly triple that of poetry and six times that of traditional Chinese painting.

China’s oldest imperial palace discovered in Shanxi Province


  • Archeologists have dated the ruins in the northeast of the Taosi relic site in Xiangfen County to around 4000 years ago. They are believed to provide important evidence of China’s capital city system, officials from Shanxi institute of archaeology told Archeologists point out that the Taosi imperial palace may indicate the beginnings of the capital system in ancient China. The Taosi relics site covers an area of 3 million square meters. It is believed to be a settlement of the period of the five legendary rulers (2,600 BC-1,600 BC) in Chinese history.

Legendary Buddhist temple, lost for more than seven centuries, yields its treasures beneath Chinese city

05 June, 2017

  • Archaeologist excavating recently rediscovered Fugan Temple, built in the 4th century, uncover more than 1,500 tablets of Buddhist scriptures and stone sculptures The ruins of Fugan Temple, a well-known Buddhist site from the Eastern Jin dynasty (317AD to 589AD) to the Southern Song dynasty (1127 to 1279), were discovered recently by archaeologists under Shiye Street in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, the West China City Daily reported.

China to support traditional opera education


  • China’s central government has pledged to preserve and develop the country’s various traditional opera styles by strengthening the education system. The system covers both school training in traditional opera and training arrangements with professional troupes, according to a guideline jointly issued at the end of May by the publicity department of the Communist Party of China and the ministries of culture, education and finance.

Ancient Civilizations Forum establishes dialogue platform


  • The first ministerial conference of the Ancient Civilizations Forum (ACForum) co-launched by Greece and China ended in Athens on Monday with a declaration to establish an annual platform of dialogue and cultural cooperation. The officials attending the Athens forum, including Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, agreed to establish the Ancient Civilizations Forum as a platform for dialogue and cultural cooperation among the participating countries, said a statement of the Greek Foreign Ministry. The forum, which groups Bolivia, China, Egypt, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Italy, and Peru, shall be open to future enlargement on a consensual basis, it said.

Ancient bamboo slips for calculation enter world records book


  • A set of bamboo slips dating back more than 2,300 years were officially recognized Sunday by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s earliest decimal calculation tool. “The significance is that it’s decimal, not duodecimal as seen in other countries. Decimal did not appear in Europe until the 15th century,” said Li Xueqin, head of the Research and Conservation Center for Excavated Texts of Beijing-based Tsinghua University. The 21 slips, crafted around 305 BC during the Warring States Period, are 43.5 centimeters long and 1.2 centimeters wide each.

Legacy of Chinese poetry revives

March 27, 2017

  • Having been ignored for the past few decades since China’s modernization drive, the treasure trove of the Chinese ancient poetry is regaining mass appeal, thanks to the Chinese Poetry Conference, a reality show hosted by China Central Television in each of the past two years. In response to the parents’ questioning why schools spend so much time on a subject that can contribute only six marks to the full score of 150 in the Chinese section of the National Higher Education Entrance Examination, Huang Ronghua, a teacher in the High School Affiliated to Fudan University where Wu studies, said this represented a misinterpretation of the mission of education.