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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Archeology and tourism -- a new form of China-Egypt relations -

Archeology and tourism -- a new form of China-Egypt relations

By Phoebe Wu, April 13, 2016

The Egyptian Embassy announced Monday in Beijing new archeological findings and tourist destinations to celebrate the 2016 Sino-Egyptian Culture Year.

Dr. Monica Hanna talks about new findings in Egyptian archaeology in Beijing on April 11. [Photo by Guo Yiming /]

The announcement came during a lecture by Egyptian archeologist Monica Hanna at an event hosted by the All China Journalists Association. During the lecture, Hanna shared new radar scanning discoveries of King Tutankhamun's tomb: two unexplored chambers and various objects related to the king.

In addition to Tutankhamun's tomb, Mamdouh Eldamaty, Egypt's antiquities minister, announced the discovery of a 3,400-year-old necropolis from the New Kingdom Era at Gebel el Silsila. Another important recent finding is a large fortress at the Horus Military Route near the Suez Canal, which reflects ancient Egypt's military legacy.

Egypt hopes that these new archeological findings will attract tourists from countries across the globe, including China. The archaeologists also promoted other historical tourist destinations such as Siwa and Menya, associated with Alexander the Great and Akhenaten, respectively.

Archeologists like Hanna believe that China and Egypt hold common grounds in terms of culture and history as two of the world's oldest civilizations, which could eventually lead to collaboration between the two.

"I think the future also holds a lot of cooperation for us," Hanna said. "And through this Cultural Year, we will build a new Silk Road of cultural exchange."

Although Egypt has more experience working with Western archeologists from the United States and Europe, it is also seeking opportunities to work more with archeologists from Asia. Hanna welcomed Chinese archeological institutions to come work in various excavation sites throughout Egypt.

Hanna, who gained international recognition for exposing antiquity-looting after Egypt's 2011 revolution, further stressed the importance of protecting archeological findings. She pointed out that China faces similar problems with antique lootings and said she hopes the two countries can collaborate in protecting archeological findings and cultural relics.

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