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— by Michael Storozum: Testing the Past (a literal translation of the Chinese word for archaeology, 考古 kaogu), is a new RADII column by archaeologist Michael Storozum exploring the ways in which this academic field is used to shape today’s China.

Anyone with a cursory experience of China has likely heard of its much vaunted “5,000 years of history.” Even President Donald Trump knows: when he came to China to meet with President Xi Jinping last in November 2017, Xi touted China’s long, continuous history as being exceptional compared to other world cultures. Last week, the inclusion of the 5,300-year-old Liangzhu onto UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites has revived the conversation in Chinese State-backed media. But how does this claim hold up under scientific and historical scrutiny? …

July 15, 2019