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US exhibition showcases ancient splendor

Bronze Age artifacts more than 2,000 years old from Yangtze River region provide unique insight into China's fascinating history, report Deng Zhangyu in Beijing and Lia Zhu in San Francisco.

By Deng Zhangyu and Lia Zhu | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-23 08:48
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A visitor wearing traditional hanfu clothing attends the exhibition at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. [Photo/Xinhua]

A captivating exhibition at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco offers a clue to the vibrant Bronze Age cultures that flourished along the Yangtze River more than 2,000 years ago.

As the biggest archaeological exhibition traveling from China to the United States after the COVID-19 pandemic waned, Phoenix Kingdoms: The Last Splendor of China's Bronze Age met an appreciative audience at the museum on Friday, showcasing more than 260 items of remarkable artifacts unearthed from aristocratic tombs in Hubei province.

The exhibition was co-organized by the Asian Art Museum and Hubei Provincial Museum. It showcases a diverse range of objects: intricate bronze vessels, jade ornaments, musical instruments used in ancient ceremonies, and weaponry employed in battles. Lacquerware, a hallmark of luxury and refinement, also features.

The exhibits are loaned from six cultural institutions, including the provincial museum, the Hubei Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, and Jingzhou Museum. Many of the pieces on display, such as bronze vessels, lacquerware and jade objects, have traveled outside China for the first time.

Li Qun, director of China's National Cultural Heritage Administration, said at the opening ceremony that it is the largest show of cultural property China has organized in the US in recent years and represents the magnificent and romantic charm of Chinese culture to the US audience.

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