By Zhang Kun/China Daily
Archaeologists from the Shanghai Museum embarked on a 40-day excavation mission to Sri Lanka on Monday.
The group will be working in ancient ruins in Jaffna alongside representatives from the Central Cultural Fund and a local university in Sri Lanka.
Chen Jie, head of the archaeological team from the Shanghai Museum, and his colleagues had previously made two visits to Sri Lanka – last July and in March this year – to conduct preliminary research and establish the joint archaeological group.
The Central Cultural Fund of Sri Lanka and Shanghai Museum have established a long-term partnership, agreeing to carry out investigations into the history of the Ancient Maritime Silk Road as well as perform excavations in some of the important ruins and sites.
It is important that the Shanghai Museum conducts research on the harbor cities along the route of the Belt and Road Initiative, said Yang Zhigang, director of the museum. Sri Lanka was a key point on the Maritime Silk Road which bore witness to the history of exchange between different civilizations, he added.
Scientists will study the Chinese relics unearthed from the ruins, ancient harbors and shipwrecks.
According to Lu Minghua, a ceramic researcher at Shanghai Museum, a large number of ceramics related to China have been unearthed from Sri Lankan harbors including Mantai(Manna), Jaffna, Trincomalee and Galle.