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Breaking Gender Barriers: Meet the All-Woman Archaeological Team Uncovering Chongqing’s Hidden History

ChinaBreaking Gender Barriers: Meet the All-Woman Archaeological Team Uncovering Chongqing's Hidden History

Chongqing, a southwestern Chinese municipality, is home to the Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology. This organization has an all-women’s archaeological team that was established in 2012. The team has been active for over a decade, and it has conducted more than ten excavation projects and organized fieldwork on over ten cultural relic investigation and exploration projects.

Yan Ni is the leader of this all-woman team of archaeologists, who are currently working on an excavation site. Recently, the area has been hit by drought, which has made the soil hard and difficult to explore. Yan Ni was glad when it rained because the soil became softer, and they could unearth relics with greater ease. She and her teammates are anticipating that the upcoming work will be much easier due to the recent rain.

Despite the challenges of working in a traditionally male-dominated field, Yan Ni and her team are proud of the work they do. The team is determined to make significant contributions to the field of archaeology and cultural relics, and they have a passion for discovering historical artifacts.

Archaeological excavations can be labor-intensive and require careful attention to detail, so it’s no surprise that Yan Ni and her team work hard to get the job done. They are dedicated to their work and are committed to uncovering the mysteries of the past. As they unearth artifacts, they carefully document their findings, helping to piece together a more complete picture of history.

Yan Ni and her team are making significant contributions to the field of archaeology and cultural relics. Despite facing challenges such as the recent drought, they remain dedicated to their work and are committed to discovering and documenting historical artifacts. As they continue their excavation work, they hope to uncover more clues about the past and contribute to the knowledge of the world’s cultural heritage.

The field of archaeology has traditionally been male-dominated due to the physical demands of fieldwork. However, in recent years, more female archaeologists have been involved in fieldwork, showcasing their qualities of persistence and responsibility. These women have made significant contributions to the field, and their work covers a wide range of tasks, from field excavation to scientific and technological archaeology, artifact restoration, and drawing.

Zhu Xuelian is one of the team members who is involved in the archaeological drawing, which is a crucial part of collating archaeological data. Zhu is 46 years old, and after lunch, she sits at a computer and carefully draws an image of a pottery object with complex ornamentation. She emphasizes the importance of archaeological drawing and says that one needs to be able to withstand loneliness. Once she immerses herself in her work, she can sit at the computer all day. However, if she needs to draw complicated objects, she can only complete two objects a day.

Archaeological drawing requires a high level of skill and attention to detail. The drawings must be precise and accurate, as they are used to help identify and understand the artifacts. The drawing is not just a representation of the artifact; it is also a record of its condition and context. Therefore, archaeological drawings are essential tools for interpreting archaeological data and creating a complete picture of history.

Artifact restoration is another critical task performed by the team. The artifacts that are excavated are often damaged, and it is the responsibility of the team to restore them to their original state. This process requires patience, skill, and attention to detail. Restored artifacts provide valuable insights into the history and culture of the region.

The team of female archaeologists is involved in various tasks that require persistence and responsibility. Their work is essential for understanding the past and preserving cultural heritage. Tasks such as archaeological drawing and artifact restoration require a high level of skill and attention to detail.

The team members of the all-woman archaeological team in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality spend more than 200 days a year doing archaeological work in the field. The remainder of their time is spent studying their achievements and writing reports. According to Zhu Xuelian, a team member, excavation is the most basic part of archaeological work. Follow-up research work, such as restoration and drawing, should be carried out to release research results to the public, which can bring cultural relics to life.

During major excavation work, the teammates eat and live together, continuously learning from each other and improving their skills. The original nine members of the team have grown into experts in their respective fields. They can now independently lead the team to conduct investigations and excavations, and some are training their own apprentices. Yan Ni, the team’s leader, expresses her pride in the team’s development and accomplishments.

Ma Xiaojiao and Li Feng are two team members who specialize in plant archaeology and animal archaeology, respectively. Ma Xiaojiao joined the team in 2011, while Li Feng has worked there since 2014. They have filled their institute’s gap in researchers in those fields, and their contributions have been invaluable to the team’s overall success.

The team’s focus on research, restoration, and drawing has allowed them to bring cultural relics to life and share their findings with the public. This approach has helped to build interest and support for archaeological work in the region. The team’s hard work and dedication have also helped to promote gender equality in the field of archaeology, inspiring more women to pursue careers in the field.

The all-woman archaeological team in Chongqing Municipality is a shining example of the progress that has been made in the field of archaeology in recent years. The team’s dedication to research, restoration, and drawing has helped to bring cultural relics to life and share their findings with the public. They have also inspired more women to pursue careers in the field and promote gender equality. The team’s continued success will undoubtedly inspire future generations of archaeologists to explore the mysteries of the past.

Chongqing authorities have launched a field archaeology training course in the city that features over 10 staff members working in related fields. More than half of the participants in the course are female, demonstrating the increasing number of women in the field of archaeology.

Xiang Jinglu, a post-90s employee at the museum of Chongqing’s Fuling District, expressed her excitement about the field training course. She has never been to the field before, but now, with the guidance of teachers during this field training, she can lead an excavation project. She feels fresh and invigorated every day as she continues to learn new things and acquire new skills.

According to Yan Ni, the leader of the all-woman archaeological team, there were fewer female archaeologists in their institute when she first joined the work. However, nowadays, there are new women every year, indicating the growing importance that China places on archaeological work. Yan believes that more women who love archaeology and field work will join them in the future, contributing to the development and success of the field.

In conclusion, the launch of the field archaeology training course in Chongqing and the increasing number of women in the field of archaeology highlight the growing importance of archaeological work in China. The enthusiasm and passion displayed by Xiang Jinglu and other female archaeologists demonstrate the potential for more women to pursue careers in the field. As the field continues to develop and evolve, it is foreseeable that more women will join the ranks of archaeologists, contributing to the preservation and understanding of our shared history.

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