ZHENGZHOU, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- An archaeology report was published Saturday, 20 years after the first joint field archaeological excavation between China and the United States that ended in 1997.
The program, Investigations into Early Shang Civilization, was the first Sino-foreign collaborative archaeological field program approved by China's cultural heritage authorities since 1949, according to the Yudong Archaeology Report.
The excavation was carried out between 1994 and 1997 by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Institute of Archaeology and Harvard University.
It aimed to trace the origin of the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 B.C.) in Shangqiu city of central China's Henan Province. Shangqiu is believed to be the capital of pre-Shang and early Shang dynasties.
Although the joint excavation did not find hard proof of the Shang Dynasty, it discovered the relics of Kingdom Song (1114-286 B.C.), laying a solid foundation for future exploration of the Shang.
"It opened a new chapter in opportunities for Sino-foreign archeology research," said Robert Murowchick, a member of the joint team who currently serves as director of the International Center for East Asian Archaeology and Cultural History at Boston University.
Murowchick said there had been 20 Sino-U.S. programs in the past 15 to 20 years that he knew of.
This project traces the origins of the Shang civilization through an interdisciplinary program of geological testing and landscape reconstruction, geophysical remote sensing, and archaeological excavation, which was a new approach at the time, said Tang Jigen, a member of the team.
Murowchick told Xinhua that they did not dig further due to technology and funding constraints as the water table was only 15 feet below the surface.
"I think it can restart now. We have money. New technology is available. We know the site it was probably located, and we have a much smaller area to focus on," he said.