Celebrating Chinese New Year: Explore China’s Past, Present and Future With Videos From The Archaeology Channel

Chinese New Year is next Friday, January 31 and this is a perfect time to learn more about the nation’s fascinating culture and history.  An excellent way to do this is to enjoy videos from our partner, The Archaeology Channel.  In order to expedite your search, we’ve put together a list of videos that feature China, its history and contemporary issues.  Click on any title or image below to visit a page where you can view the video.

*All descriptions are courtesy of The Archaeology Channel.

The Fate of Old Beijing

beijing_now_012webIn the face of China’s rapid modernization, the country is struggling to preserve its cultural heritage, and nowhere is this more visible than in the ancient alleyways and courtyards of Beijing.  The hutongs are more than simply housing: they are a way of life.  Despite the lack of modern amenities, the communal aspect to life within the hutongs means that few residents want to leave – even as their neighborhoods are being demolished and redeveloped.  This film explores the vanishing world of Beijing’s hutongs, the realities of life within those narrow streets and the future for these culturally irreplaceable areas and the people who live in them.

New Beijing: Reinventing a City

new beijing“Better take a photo now as it will be no more,” comments a local man as activist Zhang Jinqi snaps a photo of the man’s traditional home in one of Beijing’s narrow lane-ways. Zhang Jinqi’s photography project, Memories of China, documents the remaining heritage districts of the old city which soon will be demolished. Focusing on the transition from old to new, the documentary gives a panoramic view of the biggest construction boom in history while charting the modern face of Beijing and its newly iconic buildings such as Watercube, Birds Nest Stadium and the National Theater. Wallace-Crabbe’s film is a fascinating record of a period of extraordinary change in one of the oldest cities on earth.

Saving Asia’s Treasures: Foguang Temple, Shanxi, China

foguangwebThe 1,200-year old Foguang Temple in Shanxi Province, China, is one the most important remaining wooden architectural jewels of Chinese civilization. Built during the Tang Dynasty, the temple is a tribute to the peak of Buddhist art and architecture from the 9th century AD. Without regular maintenance and conservation by successive Chinese dynasties, the structure has fallen into dangerous state of disrepair. Global Heritage Fund (GHF) will provide funding and expertise for the investigation, planning and scientific conservation of the site.

Produced by the Global Heritage Fund.

Soul’s Paradise: Congjiang


Image courtesy of Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center

Ethnic minority groups in Congjiang, a beautiful place in southeast China, face a serious dilemma. People are poor and work hard to earn a living, but have a rich cultural heritage threatened by modern influences. The Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center and UNESCO are implementing the China Culture and Development Partnership Framework to assist ethnic minority groups in their cultural, socio-economic and political life and empower them to manage cultural resources and benefit from culture-based economic development.

Produced by the Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center (CHP).

Ping Yao, China: The Last Ancient City

wall3webPing Yao in Shanxi, China, was the central bank for much of the Silk Road trade during the Ming and Qing dynasties. One of only two Chinese ancient cities with UNESCO World Heritage status, but with over 40,000 low-income residents within its ancient walls, Ping Yao faces unprecedented pressures and deterioration of its core historic Qing Dynasty district and last remaining temples, towers, palaces, banks and ancient residences. The Global Heritage Fund is developing a plan for conservation, restoration and responsible tourism in Ping Yao.

Produced by the Global Heritage Fund.

Saving the Last Living Ancient Town in China: Lijiang, Yunnan, China

lijiang3webIn 1253, Kublai Khan, on his march to conquer the state of Dali, stationed troops in Lijiang at the foot of Yulong Snow Mountain in China’s Yunnan Province. Ruled by the Mu Clan of the Naxi people for 500 years, this ancient town with its wood-stone-mud structures, narrow lanes and small streams, now risks losing the last of its ancient heritage due to its recent tourist popularity and poor planning decisions. To maintain the historical integrity of China’s last “living” ancient town, Global Heritage Fund has embarked on planning and conservation.

Produced by the Global Heritage Fund.

One response to “Celebrating Chinese New Year: Explore China’s Past, Present and Future With Videos From The Archaeology Channel

  1. Pingback: Happy Year of the Ram From AntiquityNOW! | AntiquityNOW

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