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