source：china daily editor：zhang wenni
exhibits include a black-glazed container called zhan dated between the 12th and 13th centuries.[photo by lin qi/china daily]
he expands on the finds. "a carbonized foxtail millet found at the bancun site, in henan province, which mainly belongs to the yangshao culture, was one of the first indications of chinese civilization," chen says. "other must-see exhibits include bronze triple-foot ding vessels and a composite skeleton of paracamelus gigas, an extinct genus of camel dating back about 1.8 million years to the early stage of paleolithic age, found in liaoning province."
it is a celebration, chen says, of the efforts made to trace the origin and evolution of chinese civilization, as well as its diversity, unity and exchanges with other cultures in the world.
objects from several excavations from shipwrecks on show exemplify the museum's work in underwater archaeology. it set up the country's first research center dedicated to the field in 1987, and this has facilitated the studies of the shipbuilding industry, marine technology, overseas trades, ceramics export in ancient china, as well as the preservation of underwater heritage.
the fruits of the museum's labors are vividly presented at the exhibition, which shows a yuan dynasty (1271-1368) ceramic jar patterned with a dragon and a phoenix between ink flowers against a white background and a basin decorated with fish swimming in algae. they were unearthed from a sunken yuan-era merchant vessel after a six-year-long excavation undertaken by the national museum of china and other institutions, in the 1990s, in bohai bay. the work uncovered more than 600 objects, most of which were ceramics from the prestigious cizhou kilns, in today's hebei province, and it was ranked among the top 10 archaeological discoveries in china in 1993.