We have heard much about the Sung archaeologists' mistakes but little about their important work, upon which much of our work in some fields is based today. They did not make spectacular discoveries of buried cities through the use of classical sources as did Heinrich Schliemann less than one hundred years ago. But they did use the early literature, together with a critical sense of judgment, some eight or nine centuries ago to discover much truth about the remote past and to dispel misinformation which had accumulated in the ensuing centuries. Many of the Sung scholars had a most enlightened and what might even be called a modern approach in their attitude towards this work. They had progressed far beyond the “cabinet of curiosities” stage, still current in Europe at a much later date, and were engaged in intelligent research concerned with identification, etymology, dating, and interpretation. Moreover, they practiced, within the limitations imposed upon them by the advancement of science at that time, most of the critical methods and devices used in modern archaeological work.

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