The second half of the twentieth century may be remembered by Chinese archaeologists as the Golden Age of their discipline. A unique combination of factors and circumstances has produced, and will probably continue to produce for a time, enormous amounts of new material for the study of Chinese prehistory and history. These factors and circumstances include a deep-rooted interest of the Chinese people in their past, not only for its own sake but also for guidance, as lesson; the introduction, in the first half of the century, of Western archaeological science; systematic, large-scale, and sustained national projects to construct roads, canals, reservoirs, and buildings throughout China; and a conscious and conscientious effort to include archaeology as an important part of the political education of the people. This sudden flood of new data—most hitherto unknown, and many unexpected and almost unimaginable—provides unprecedented opportunities for gaining new and much richer knowledge of China's past. China scholars will be busy coping with the new materials for decades to come. They should count themselves extremely lucky, for such opportunities are not likely to arise again after the present century; archaeological relics are a limited resource, even in China.

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