Break­ing

ChinAfrica - - Lifestyle -

FOR Gao Wei, break­ing ground is noth­ing new. As a Chi­nese arche­ol­o­gist, he has taken part in count­less digs through­out the coun­try. But when the first Chi­nese shovel hits the dirt in Egypt, ex­pected to hap­pen in Oc­to­ber this year, it takes on spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance, both for him and for Chi­nese arche­ol­ogy.

“Op­por­tu­ni­ties such as this one to col­lab­o­rate with for­eign arche­ol­o­gists are es­pe­cially hard to come by. Even though I am an Egyp­tol­o­gist by train­ing, I never had the chance to work in Egypt, so the team mem­bers and I are very ex­cited about our first co­op­er­a­tion project in Egypt,” he told Chi­nafrica.

Gao is a mem­ber of the Chi­nese arche­o­log­i­cal team that will take part in the first Sino-egyp­tian joint ex­ca­va­tion project. Work­ing side by side with Egyp­tian col­leagues, he will be among the first Chi­nese arche­ol­o­gists to un­cover the hid­den se­crets of the an­cient Pharaonic cap­i­tal of Thebes, lo­cated in south Egypt’s Luxor.

“For us, the most im­por­tant thing is to be able to touch the relics with our hands. Although we have plenty of doc­u­ments to help us un­der­stand Egypt’s rich her­itage, for arche­ol­o­gists, noth­ing can re­place be­ing on the ground, tak­ing in the at­mos­phere of the site, and feel­ing with our own hands a gen­uine piece of Egypt’s his­tory,” said Gao.

Wang Wei in Giza, Egypt

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