Archeological park observes Liangzhu Day, marking UNESCO site listing

Wu Huixin
To mark Liangzhu Day, July 6, the Archeological Ruins of Liangzhu City Park is hosting events through July 12 to commemorate its inclusion as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019.
Wu Huixin

To mark Liangzhu Day, which falls on July 6 every year, the Archeological Ruins of Liangzhu City Park is hosting a wide range of events through July 12 to commemorate its inclusion on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 2019.

The local government designated the annual event in 2020. This year, admission to the park is free until July 12. Visitors are required to make advance reservations via the park’s official WeChat account: liangzhugcyz.

Since its opening, the park has been dedicated to recreating the original appearance of the Liangzhu city during its heyday, integrating with the natural landscape of waterways and wetlands. It serves as a platform to display the ancient civilization and showcase its historic value to the public.

On July 6, the management committee of Liangzhu hosted a seminar in tandem with Toledo, Spain. Industrial insiders from the Spanish city visited the Liangzhu city ruins, including palace and altar remains, early-stage dams and cemetery sites, the Liangzhu Museum, and a jade sculpting studio to learn about Chinese civilization.

To boost cultural exchanges between the two ancient cities, an exhibition is underway in the Liangzhu Museum through August 5, showing archives and photos from Spanish museums and Toledo.

Toledo was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986 for its extensive cultural and monumental heritage and historical co-existence of Christian, Muslim and Jewish cultures. During the past years, the committee has invited professionals from Greece and the United Kingdom to discuss innovation and protection of archeological ruins.

Another seminar was held yesterday. Professionals from domestic institutes and organizations were invited to share up-to-date results in archeological site protection and utilization and seek partnerships in academic research.

Today, the committee is to inaugurate an experimental lab focusing on protection of archeological ruins in high-moisture environments.

Archeological park observes Liangzhu Day, marking UNESCO site listing

A stylobate at the site of Mojiaoshan in the Archeological Ruins of Liangzhu City Park

The ancient Liangzhu city was built in natural surroundings of waterways and wetlands. Therefore, how to preserve the ruins in the high-moisture environment has always been the priority in Liangzhu. The new lab will support similar Liangzhu-like sites in China for better preservation.

Another exhibition will roll out the welcome mat to visitors in Liangzhu Museum on July 9. Exhibits on loan from 10 nationwide museums will give people a well-rounded picture of China’s 43 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and run through October 31.

Organizers will categorize the antiquities into four sections to display the country’s millennia-old culture and modern-day archeological protection.

Liangzhu Day also features an open day on July 11, providing public access to excavation sites and laboratories. This initiative helps visitors gain insights into Liangzhu’s artificial landforms and the advanced technology and equipment used for site supervision.

The ancient Liangzhu State stretched over most of the Yangtze River Delta, with Liangzhu city located in Hangzhou’s Yuhang District.

As an early regional state with a unified belief system and a rice-based agriculture, Liangzhu was an urban civilization with complex functions and structures. The Neolithic civilization dates back as far as 5,000 years.

The ancient Liangzhu people made exquisite jade items, indicating its social structures could support a production chain. Their jade objects feature deities and mythical creatures, demonstrating the existence of a regional state with a unified belief system.

Yucong, a large jade cylinder with a hole in the middle; yuyue, an axe-like jade piece; and yubi, a jade circle; were the three main objects used for rituals. The ancestors of Liangzhu used jade artifacts of varied shapes and sizes, such as cong, yue and bi, to designate their place in the social hierarchy.

Researchers believe the ancient state had four social classes. Jade, silk, ivory and lacquer artifacts were unearthed in sites where the elite were buried, while pottery was found in the burial plots of poorer individuals. These antiques are on display at the museum.

In addition, a summer fair will run through July 16 at the park. Organizers will set up installations featuring stylish, summery designs aimed at attracting a trendy crowd.

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