Interview: Famous Egyptologist hails performance of Chinese archaeologists in Egypt

Source: Xinhua| 2019-12-17 20:24:26|Editor: xuxin
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SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Zahi Hawass, a famous Egyptian Egyptologist, praised in a recent interview with Xinhua the performance of the Chinese archaeological mission working in the Montu Temple at the Karnak Temple complex in Upper Egypt's Luxor.

Hawass called for more cooperation between Egypt and China in the archaeological field.

In November last year, a Chinese mission from the Institute of Archaeology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences started working on a joint project at the site of the Montu Temple.

"It is a good thing to have a Chinese archaeological mission working in Karnak ... I'm glad that China decided to start excavations in Egypt," Hawass, also a former antiquities minister of Egypt, told Xinhua.

Highlighting the importance for the Chinese archaeologists to carry out excavations in Egypt, he said the Chinese civilization has a long rich history like "the Pharaonic civilization."

Hawass welcomed the possibility of sending a second Chinese archaeological mission to Egypt.

Earlier in December, Chinese Cultural Counselor to Egypt Shi Yuewen announced that a team from the School of Archaeology and Museology of Peking University will soon start excavation at a Ptolemy site near Alexandria.

"We have confidence in the Chinese ability to excavate in Egypt. They are respected scientists, and they carry out excavations at a very high level," Hawass said.

The Egyptologist also expressed optimism about the prospects for cooperation between Egypt and China in the field of antiquities are wide.

"We are ready in Egypt to authorize these missions to work in more than one archaeological site," he said, noting China is leading in the field of archaeology and excavation.

China and Egypt have enhanced cooperation in the field of archeology in recent years.

On Dec. 9, a delegation of officials from the Chinese Embassy in Egypt and the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities inspected and sealed dozens of smuggled ancient Chinese coins in Egypt's coastal city of Alexandria.

The Egyptian customs in Alexandria seized in 2018 more than 30 ancient Chinese coins, most of which were from China's Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and the most ancient of which date back to the fourth century BC.

More than 20 of these coins were identified as national cultural relics by experts from the Chinese State Administration of Cultural Heritage.

Egypt will officially return the coins to China in the near future.