JINAN, China, March 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Recently, the Key Laboratory for Archaeological Sciences and Technology of Shandong University has been approved by the Ministry of Education of China. This is another significant research platform approved by the Ministry of Education for the discipline of archaeology at Shandong University, following the approval of the "Joint International Research Laboratory for Environmental and Social Archaeology" in 2016.
The discipline of archaeology at Shandong University is based on field archaeology and stresses interdisciplinary integration and internationalization. It has played a pioneering and leading role in the discipline transformation towards settlement archaeology over the last two decades, showing strength and great achievements in the fields of human origins and evolution, environment and resources, technology and economy, settlement and society, and conservation techniques of cultural relics.
In 2010, the "Environmental Archaeology Innovation and Intelligence Introduction Base" was renamed "Environmental and Social Archaeology Innovation and Intelligence Introduction Base" and was approved as the first innovation and intelligence introduction base of the humanities in China. Besides, the experimental teaching center was listed as one of the first batches of the national demonstration centers for archaeology in 2009, which marks the further increasing significance of archaeological science in the professional training system. In 2016, the "Joint International Research Laboratory of Environmental and Social Archaeology" founded by Shandong University and Yale University was approved by the Ministry of Education, becoming the only international joint laboratory in the humanities in China. In 2020, the "Shandong Key Laboratory of Cultural Heritage Conservation and Archaeological Science" was approved. In addition, Shandong University Museum was selected as a national first-class museum in 2020, which is the only national first-class museum of History and Archaeology based at a university in China.
Built upon the teaching and research platforms mentioned above, the discipline of archaeology at Shandong University has attracted and nurtured many talented scholars in recent years. There are 53 faculty members in the Department of Archaeology, forming a well-structured, powerful, innovative, and collaborative academic team. Based on fieldwork and focusing on evidence-based research, eight projects led by Shandong University were awarded "China's Top 10 New Archaeological Discoveries".
Since 2018, the Department of Archaeology has been awarded six national-level major and key projects, one second prize for Excellent Achievement Awards in Institution of Higher Education announced by the Ministry of Education, five first prizes for the Shandong Provincial Social Science Outstanding Achievement Awards (including one special award), and one project as "2020 Top 10 World Archaeological Discoveries". Besides, they have published 16 monographs and more than 300 research papers, including several high-level papers published in the top journals of China and abroad, such as Nature, Science, Cell, PNAS, Acta Archaeological Sinica, and Archaeology, etc.
The 40,800 m2 Shandong University Museum situated in the Qingdao campus opened to the public officially in 2017, including over 5,000 m2 dedicated to archaeological laboratory, which lays a solid foundation for the development of the discipline of archaeological science. Now, there are sixteen archaeological laboratories, focusing on human evolution, archaeobotany, zooarchaeology, geoarchaeology, human osteology, ancient DNA, ceramics, jade and stone, archaeometallurgy, stable isotopes, conservation of organic and inorganic materials, digital simulation, and indoor archaeological excavation and cultural relics preservation, respectively. Based on the archaeological laboratory complex, the Department of Archaeology at Shandong University has filled in several blanks and provided fundamental evidence for the interpretation of the origins and development of early Chinese civilization by the integrated use of archaeobotany, archaeozoology, human osteology, stable isotopes and geoarchaeology to investigate climatic and landscape changes, resource use and development of prehistoric agriculture, etc. With the help of Synchrotron Radiation Light Source X-CT, they have achieved a new breakthrough in the research methods of plant origins. Based on the first indoor archaeological excavation laboratory in China, they carry out research on the conservation techniques of metal, silk, ceramics, and lithics, providing the scientific theory and methodological basis for the research and development of conservation techniques. Now, it is the largest and most comprehensive archaeological laboratory complex among all the universities in China.