China: Domestic Archaeological Heritage Management Law
China is commonly referred to as a source country, meaning it is rich in cultural art and property, but poor in terms of economic resources. Many source countries face intense demand for their cultural relics, resulting in increased illicit excavation. Unfortunately, the impact of illicit excavation on archaeology can be devastating. When items are excavated without regard for the integrity of the original site, much information about the item, its use, and its historical context can be lost (He Shuzhong 2001). With more than 7000 years of cultural history, the People’s Republic of China has an immense number of important archaeological sites and a growing need for help preserving those sites.
Illicit excavation is not the only archaeological problem China faces. Interest in China’s history fuels tourism demands, as well. In the past, it was not uncommon for local towns or provinces to move archaeological sites or structures in their entirety to places more easily...
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