Durham University and China’s Palace Museum signed an agreement in 2016, to bring together two world-renowned centres of research and cultural excellence for the first time.
As part of the new collaboration, archaeologists from Durham have become the first UK university team to work at an archaeological site inside the walls of the Forbidden City in Beijng in China.
My time on fieldwork in China – week 3
A visit the Chinese Silk Museum was on the programme for today before our trip back to Beijing. The Silk Museum was really interesting, explaining the silk production process and the history of silk manufacture and trade in China and along the silk road to Europe – they had quite a few very early silk garments on display which were in an amazing state of preservation considering their antiquity.
(7 Aug 2017) » More about Palace Museum Cooperation - the blog week 3
My time on fieldwork in China – week 2
This was another work day with all the digging completed in our first trench yesterday. Natalie, together with Chinese colleagues, spent the day documenting the trench – drawing plans and sections to record the archaeological evidence we had uncovered.
(1 Aug 2017) » More about Palace Museum Cooperation - the blog week 2
Durham University and the Palace Museum – exploring the world together
As part of a new collaboration between Durham University and the Palace Museum in China, Durham’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart Corbridge, met with a delegation in the Forbidden City to discuss the new partnership.
In an interview with the Palace Museum, Professor Corbridge talked about the archaeological expertise at both institutions, how the teams will be able to learn from each other and the importance of globalisation.
(5 Jul 2017) » More about The interview with the Vice-Chancellor
My time on fieldwork in China – week 1
As a PhD student in the Department of Archaeology, Durham University, I was given the opportunity to be part of a team working with Chinese archaeologists at the Palace Museum Archaeological Institute, based in the Forbidden City, Beijing.
(5 Jul 2017) » More about Palace Museum Cooperation - the blog
Durham enters partnership with iconic Palace Museum
Durham University and China’s Palace Museum have signed an agreement, bringing together these two world-renowned centres of research and cultural excellence for the first time. The agreement, which is the first between the Palace Museum and an English university, builds on Durham University’s already strong links with China.
The city of Beijing has a history of more than 3,000 years and from the 10th century AD onwards it has had a function as a large city and capital, and as the Imperial residence for Chinese emperors.
The best known and preserved Imperial Palace is the Forbidden City which has served as the residence of emperors and their families, entourages, servants and bodyguards.
Eight small excavations have previously been carried out within the Forbidden City by teams led by the Palace Museum: at the Longzong Gate, the Cininig Palace Garden and the old imperial porcelain storage site.
Dr Ran Zhang and Dr Derek Kennet from Durham’s project team look at what we already know about the history of the Forbidden City from historical records and existing archaeological data.
Further Information to download
- What lies beneath the Forbidden City?
- The Palace Museum Archaeology Project: a Preliminary Background Review
In a new collaboration, archaeologists from Durham University and the Palace Museum are carrying out an excavation inside the walls of the Forbidden City. The partnership between the two institutions will also involve wider research and teaching collaborations, sharing of expertise and potential joint museum exhibitions.
Find out more about the excavation team below.
Dr Derek Kennet
Associate Professor of Archaeology and an experienced field director who has worked in India, the Gulf and other locations.
Ms Natalie Swan
Senior Project Archaeologist at Archaeological Services Durham and a highly experienced professional excavator who is well versed in complex urban stratigraphy.
Mr Peter Brown
PhD student in Archaeology and an experienced overseas fieldworker with survey and excavation skills.
Dr Ran Zhang
Honorary Research Associate in Archaeology and an expert in Chinese ceramics and imperial history.
Professor Robin Skeates
Head of Department of Archaeology and overall lead for the partnership between Durham Archaeology and the Palace Museum.